Abiding in the True Vine

Have you ever likened your faith to a tree’s anatomy? Probably not. To begin, Jesus often used object lesson’s during his teachings with the masses and his disciples. Most of the time these objects were of creation. This was not because he didn’t have anything better to use, it was intentional on his part. He used parables and stories of that which was around them. Things that they saw on a daily basis, to make it connect with the deeper truth he was really trying to get across. 

Take the parable of the sower for example (Matt. 13). A very familiar parable we all, hopefully, have heard or read at some point. The seed that falls among the rocky path shows us what happens when we have no root. It springs up because of the shallow soil, but as soon as the sun comes out, the plant withers away and is scorched because of it’s lack of root. How often is this the picture of the church today? I’m afraid that the church, specifically the western church, is so focused on increasing their number of converts, new volunteers/members and new candidates for baptism that we miss the point. Jesus didn’t die for someone to use his sacrifice as a “get out of hell free” card. He wants to intimately know us. Therefore in His great commission to us, he said to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you and I will be with you until the end of time.” He didn’t simply tell us to go and convert as many people as possible. Jesus wasn’t looking to add as many people to his friends list as possible, he was looking to build His kingdom. This would take commitment and sacrifice. Only people willing to count the cost, forsake everything and follow Him would make the cut. Upon hearing some of these hard teachings, some of his followers even chose to “turn and follow no more” (John 6:66). 

You see, Jesus doesn’t want fair-weather fans. He wants to have people that are willing to rejoice in the valley as much as on the mountaintop. He want’s us to be completely satisfied in Him. Why? So that our joy may be complete (John 15:11) Have you ever though about that? Being completely joyful? Not needing anything else to bring joy to your life. Jesus does that. Jesus fulfills that. 

I hope that my writing doesn’t just discourage you in your faith journey, it’s not my intent. I hope to challenge you for sure, but in hope’s that you will respond, repent and grow. Don’t get me wrong either, I love the local church so much and it has played an integral part in my faith and growth. But, I think a lot of our churches have good intentions, but may ultimately be doing more harm than good, if they aren’t delivering the full truth of scripture, but only some watered down version. 

Please feel free to reach out to me at any point with questions or concerns you may have. I would love to chat with anyone that has questions or concerns.  Until then, may God be with you!

-Paul

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