John 15:5-11 (NIV)
Remember Prince? Sad ending. I’ve never been much of a fan, but I did like “Purple Rain.” It’s one of those swaying kinda songs. My minister brought up Prince’s song “Let’s Go Crazy.” I’d never heard it. Please don’t gasp! So, I looked up the lyrics. I was all in with this song at the beginning. Especially with the Dr. Everything’ll-Be-Alright (loved that), but then I became totally lost with the purple banana thing. But all in all the lyrics were pretty spot on. Life really does mean forever. And, then, there’s the afterworld.
How are you getting through this thing called life? Is it filled with joy? Do you feel complete? God’s desire for us is to live in joy and completeness. It’s not the end of the story when you say “yes” to God. It’s what happens from that day forward. God transforms us throughout our lives. This is our sustaining grace. God lives with and in us.
It’s kinda like a marriage that lasts a lifetime.
See this couple? My parents. Their marriage lasted a lifetime.
Or this couple? My in-laws. Their marriage lasted a lifetime too.
In a lifetime marriage, you anticipate each other’s needs because you love each other. You still have disagreements. But the love never fades. It’s always there sustaining the couple and the marriage.
When we look at our relationship with God, He knows we’ll still sin, but He forgives us and shows us how to do better. Eventually, we learn how to be aligned with God and His desires for us and the world. The question is: Are we striving to have this type of relationship with God? Like the scripture says, we must stay connected to the vine as Jesus is the vine and we are the branch. If we don’t, it’s as if we’re thrown away. We’ll eventually dry up. It takes discipline to stay connected. Attending church is a way to help us stay connected.
We need to allow God to do some pruning in our life. It’s necessary for God to prune us back so we can bear more fruit. There are so many things that clutter our lives and keep us from fully following God and being able to experience complete joy.
Like the joy of a good belly laugh. Or the joy of telling stories and laughing with family.
Some of the things that clutter our lives keep us from fully following God and being able to experience complete joy. What we do with our lives is the point of bearing more fruit. How we are filled with grace for one another—how we treat one another—living the grace filled life.
How does God have enough grace for everyone? It’s like having more than one kid. Sometimes we wonder how we can love each one of them equally. If our imperfect love can love like that; can you imagine God’s ability to love? Think about it. Because, like the song says, “In this very room there’s quite enough love for one like me.” *
What’s your joy/love story?
And that’s what I learned in Church……see ya next time!
*In This Very Room Ron & Carol Harris