Servant, or Friend?

I love the parable of the Vine and the Branches (John 15). Jesus tells us that he is the vine, the source of our lives; the source of all that we do and are. Jesus says that it is only by being connected to him that we will bear fruit.

What is fruit? Fruit is not the result of our talents, efforts, or ‘goodness.’ Fruit is the result and outflow of spending time with Jesus. Fruit happens when we allow his life to fill us and be produced in our life so that it can be given away to those around us. 

Think about an apple tree: the fruit has one purpose – to fall away from the tree and die. The flesh of the fruit feeds and nourishes others. The seed is left to be planted in the ground, to die, so that it will produce more fruit.

No matter how beautiful or glamorous, delicious or nourishing the fruit of our lives is, it is meant to feed, nourish, and serve those around us with the life from the vine. 

Jesus also says,

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

God is looking for people willing to partner with him to bring his kingdom to this world. Are you images-1a partner or a servant?  A servant follows the ‘rules’ of the house. A servant is like an employee who goes to work, does the job, and collects eternal life (a paycheck).

But God’s desire is not to have little servant-employee-Christian-bots. God desires intimacy with his children. God desires partnership and friendship. A business partner loves the Father’s house, and serves out of love to make ‘God’s business’ everything God dreams for it to be. A business partner invests time, resources, and energy in the business, and works with the Father to build it. A partner knows that he or she has access to all of the Father’s resources to bring his Kingdom to earth: because they are connected to the vine, the source of everything  needed for life and godliness. The vine is the source to produce all the fruit of life, love, hope and joy that this world needs.

So what is the ‘Father’s Business’? Jesus taught us to pray, 

[9] Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, [10] your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9

Jesus tells his disciples that,

The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Matthew 13:11

Jesus also says, 

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19

The “Family Business” is all about bringing God’s kingdom to earth. To point people to Jesus. To bring healing where there is sickness, life where there is death, hope where there is despair… Everything that is a reality in God’s kingdom, needs to be a reality in our hearts, so that we can make it a reality in the lives of those around us. 

Our words, our prayers, our interaction in worshipping the Father equips and positions us to bring God’s life, God’s will,  God’s kingdom to the people we interact with every day. Every need in this world is crying out for the answer found in Christ. You, connected to the vine, are the conduit for that answer to reach the people around you!

How will you partner with God to bring the kingdom of Heaven to earth today?

thanks for reading,

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