I have a thought (or rather a question) this morning…
How often do we do nothing for Jesus?
How often do we do ‘nothing of eternal value’?
Well, I believe, that would be everytime we do not REMAIN IN Jesus. Jesus said in John 15:5:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man REMAINS IN ME and I in him, he will bear much fruit; APART from me you can do NOTHING”
And what does that NOTHING mean? It means NOTHING! It means we can do absolutely nothing of eternal significance apart from Jesus. That is, all our ‘righteous acts’ are like filthy rags [Isaiah 64:6] to our Heavenly Father. By ‘righteous acts’ I mean ‘self righteous acts’ of our flesh that come out of our pride / our spiritual pride / our religious pride.
Further, Jesus gives us this warning in verse 6:
“If anyone DOES NOT REMAIN in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned”
And in verse 7 He gives us this promise:
“If you REMAIN in me and my WORDS REMAIN IN YOU, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you”
Now there are some words that could appeal to our flesh! “Ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you”. Hmmm, I’ll have a new car and a new house and a new stereo. SPEW! What am I saying! These are Spiritual Words for our spirits! It is a conditional promise based on us REMAINING IN Jesus and HIS WORD REMAINING IN us.
Let’s skip over to the amazing prayer of Jesus’ in John chapter 17. Note also that Jesus’ prayer was not only for His disciplines but it is also for US [John 17:20-23]:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that ALL OF THEM MAY BE ONE, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. MAY THEY ALSO BE IN US so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, THAT THEY MAY BE ONE AS WE ARE ONE: I IN THEM AND YOU IN ME. MAY THEY BE BROUGHT INTO COMPLETE UNITY to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
OUR GOAL: is to be ONE with Jesus and therefore ONE with the Father through Jesus. Of course, this is enabled by the Spirit of Jesus living in our hearts. Listen to verse 3:
“Now THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
Your eternal life, my eternal life starts today. Throughout all of history til today the choice that man has had has always remained the same:
Are we going to choose life or are we going to choose death?
From the tree in the Garden [Gen 2:16-17]
“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
to Moses and the Israelites [Deut 30:19-20]
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
to Jesus’ words and prayer in John 17.
Today, if we are listening and hear His voice Jesus wants to separate us for the work of His eternal Kingdom [John 17:17 – “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth”], do we choose to be ONE with Jesus, in the same way that Jesus is ONE with the Father? Jesus prayed it for us! This is available to all those who are called by His name.
…”I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my JOY within them.” [John 17:13]
“I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be IN them.” [John 17:26]
May Jesus, and His joy, and His love, be IN you.