Words to Live By

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Today’s chapter is John 15.  Once again I am faced with the daunting task of picking just one of the truths found in the chapter.  This chapter is one of those that you could almost pick any one of it’s twenty seven verses and start writing.  Therefore, rather than trying to pick just one, maybe I will try to give you a sense of this chapter as a whole.

Have you ever considered that there is absolutely no other book like the Bible?  This chapter has the distinction of being entirely the words of Jesus.  I think that you could simply lay this chapter before you, close your eyes and plop your finger down on the page, open your eyes and live the rest of your life according to the verse that your finger landed on.  Having done that, I absolutely believe that everyone and everything that your life touched would have been made better by your pursuit.  Literally, you would have made the world a better place with your adherence to just one verse!

Now I will concede that that verse might have led you to research others to flesh out its meaning, such as verse fourteen where Jesus says that we are his friends if we do what he commands and you would need to know what it was that he commanded.  However, my contention is that everything in your life and the lives around you would be affected if you applied that one verse to your life and then disciplined your life accordingly.  Now if all of that might be done with your adherence to the teachings of just one verse, imagine what might be done if you consumed and internalized the teachings of this entire book.

Consider from chapter fifteen some of the single verses that your finger might have landed on…

John 15:2 (ESV)  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

John 15:4 (ESV)  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

John 15:5 (ESV)  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:6 (ESV)  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

John 15:7 (ESV)  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 15:8 (ESV)  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

John 15:9 (ESV)  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

Do you see a pattern?  Rather than me listing every verse, suffice it to say that you could pick almost any verse here and live out your whole life.  What other book is like this?  In my experience none.

I realize that we preachers have always been saying that you need to be in the word to live the Christian life and that is exactly right.  It is the word that the Holy Spirit uses to move us from death to life.  It is the word that rebukes us when we are in error, comforts us when we are hurting, directs us when we are lost, convicts us when we are in sin, and calms us when we are afraid.  You simply cannot get enough of it into your life.

I am so proud of you for coming this far in our study of John.  I have no doubt that you have learned things over the past two weeks that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.  I know I have!


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