Saw this on FB today and was inspired to write.
This family has the power. They choose to share it. They made a way for people to easily connect. They didn’t ask for anything in return. Their power will make it possible for others to connect to those around them. This is an absolute and utter genius of a modern Christian allegory.
Christianity is simple. We can live good lives and do good things yet it’s not enough. We are all separated from God by our inherent selfishness and penchant for destruction. Yet, by Jesus sacrificing all, we are able to gain all. “5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 AMP) Simple.
When we decide to ‘plug in’ to the One who made us in the first place, we have the ability to do so much more than we can do on our own. In fact, from God’s perspective, we can do nothing apart from Him.
The church, meaning the collective body of Believers who may or may not worship together in a building, should be like this family. The church should have more ‘power’ than the rest of the neighborhood and the world. The church should share what they have in a way that’s easy for people to connect. The church shouldn’t ask for anything in return, because they didn’t purchase the ‘power’ in the first place.
So many would try to tell you the church isn’t as it should be. There are too many stories where the church is full of greedy, crazy, judgemental wackadoodles utterly convinced their first name is Jesus and their middle name Holy Spirit. The ‘brand’ of Christianity is marred by judgement, cliqueishness and knee jerk reactions to cultural phenomenon. Or it’s squishy, anemic and unrecognizable from the current culture in the name of ‘relevance’. Whether judging or joining, the church so often doesn’t demonstrate it is truly ‘plugged’ in to power.
How do we know we are plugged in? Things happen. Power is released. Luke 8:43-48 is a remarkable illustration of what happens when a person ‘plugs in’. It’s also my favorite story from the New Testament. You should check it out. READ THE VERSES HERE: *Pressing Through the Crowd to Get Plugged In
Things happen, such as prayers get answered. John 15:5-8a (MSG), “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is…”
Part of the impetus for this blog project-lessmoreabundantly-was the recognition I was dead wood. The harvest in my life was choked out by weeds. Whatever I asked didn’t come to pass. In fact, the exact opposite would often occur. I didn’t have the kind of “intimate and organic” relationship referred to in the previous scripture. When I think of intimate and organic, I think of time with my kids or friends, unscripted, loving and deep. There were moments of this, but not an abiding connection with God.
Now, I am tossing the deadwood out of my own life. Sharing my journey with you is another opportunity to grow my own harvest. Hopefully, these entries will help you to toss some twigs of your own.
Like this family, I am digging out my cords and plugging in. How will you plug-in? How will you share what you have flowing through your life?