Sorry for the delay on this week’s blog. There were some glitches on the hosting side of the site, but all is up and well. It was a great day at Alife on Sunday. Pastor Jonathan gave a great word of the power of US. The presence of God was in the house and there was a strong sense of connection in the room. I even got to sing on the worship team yesterday. I like my church family and my room in the Father’s house.
God is the Father, the Word, and the Spirit. He became the expression of the Word in flesh in the form of Jesus, the Christ. Jesus was the Word made flesh so that we could become the expressions of God in the uniqueness of who we each are. We are meant to be an expression of our heavenly Father as His children, born and formed into His likeness and image in this world. The Word became flesh and moved into the neighborhood so that everyone in the neighborhood could be restored in their relationship with God as their Father. They could then be expressions of Him. They could each be an expression of the Word of God made known to and among men. They could be made to be light in the darkness so that all who are in the darkness could be drawn to the light. It is a testimony of life and relationship with God in Christ.
Our relationship with God is living and organic. We cannot just join in the membership of a church and understand the fullness of becoming an expression of God. The church of Christ is not an organization, a denomination of churches, or a non-denominational expression of churches. The church is an organism. It is the Father’s house and in the Father’s house there are many rooms. There are many expressions of Christ in the body of Christ, but all those expressions comprise the fullness of the body of Christ. Jesus described our relationship with God by using a metaphor of a vine and a vinedresser.
John 15: 1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be My disciples.
We are the same substance as Jesus, the word made flesh in the form of a human being. He is the greater vine, but we are branches joined to Him. We receive life from Him and we allow that life to flow through us to bear fruit for the hungry of the world. Those looking for life should find the testimony of that life flowing through and from our lives. We receive the life of Christ so we can give the life of Christ to the world. Anything in us or about us that does not or cannot produce that life is removed by our Father. Like the pruning of the branches of the vine, lifeless things are removed and life consuming things are cut back to induce life giving fruit from our lives for the sake of others. This is what gives glory to our Father in heaven. We have a great promise of being cut or being cut. The cutting involves change. It involves loss of things that lack the destiny of life for others. It involves the loss of some things to gain more life-giving things. This is the process of God working in our lives because He believes in who we are and in the destiny of us together is the vine of the Father’s vineyard.
Jesus was the word expressed to us in the flesh so we could become the expression of the word in flesh to give life to others. We are clean by the word that Jesus expressed to us. The words that He speaks to us now are not words to make us clean, but words to make us fruitful. They are words that empower us to live to give life to others. The words that God speaks to our hearts causes us to become expressions of God’s word to the world around us when we embrace those words and the desires that come with them. In this, God gives us the desires of our hearts. It is from that God-birthed desire within us that we are able to become something of life to the world. We become the testimony of God’s vine. God cuts away anything that prevents or distracts us from living for the corporate purpose of the vine. We were born to give life to others so they too can experience the life of God and become expressions of His life for others. It is through the life that we give to others as the corporate vine of Christ that give glory to God. We are part of the Father’s vineyard as the Father’s vine for the Father’s glory and the Father’s purpose in giving life to the Father’s children. It is a great calling, inheritance, and purpose we find ourselves joined to.
Ted J. Hanson