Thursday, December 11, 2014
John 15:9-17 Someone loves you, conclusion
Have you ever talked with a person that isn't interested in being a part of a congregation of believers? Someone who says, "I want nothing to do with a church."
Many times they have this attitude because people who were thought to be Christians have failed them. They've let them down. People who perhaps were trusted, and failed.
But if we truly think about it, the problem is not that the church failed them. And it isn't really that those supposed believers failed them. The problem is that they don't know our Jesus.
These disappointed people don't know how faithful He can be. They don't realize just how much He wants to care for them. They don't know what He wants to do in their lives.
There are people who sit in church every Sunday that don't really know Jesus as their friend. They may have been in church most of their lives, and they are "there every time the doors open" but they have gotten mesmerized in the routine and the rituals. They sing the songs and bow their heads in the prayers, and listen to the preacher . . . but they aren't experiencing any real relationship with Jesus. They haven't known the contentment and satisfaction of spending time with Jesus: the one Person they can truly call their Friend. The One who loves them.
That's really sad. Because Jesus really does want to be our Friend. He is ready to have us spend regular time with Him; He wants us to confide in Him; He wants to carry our burden. The root of the problem is that some of us have not yet realized how important it is to be friends with Him.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every
branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear
fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already
clean because of the word I have spoken to you. (John 15:1-3)
And He also told us:
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my
love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as
I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have
told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be
complete...You are my friends if you do what I command.
The first step to becoming His friend is to accept Him into your life.
Believe that He will be your closest friend because He is the Son of God. Admit that you are a sinner, and that you need His gift of salvation; admit that you can't live joyfully without His grace. Tell Him that you want Him to be in charge of your life; tell Him you want to become what He knows you can be. Start a new life with His guidance.
On Monday, I mentioned the tree near our home that is carved with initials and love notes. It tells its story to whoever stops to look. People wanted to say, "I love you."
The Bible tells us that Jesus "had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men." (Isaiah 53:2-3) THe people of His day wanted to get rid of Him. They took Him outside the city and nailed Him to a tree.
But even today, when people look at that tree, they still read that message: "I love you."