Reflections on how I learn to live life with faith.
Last Tuesday, the Scripture we discussed in our Bible study was about Jesus Christ as the true vine and God as the vine yard keeper (John 15:1-17). The Scripture was discussed in great detail that the Scripture keeps creeping back into my mind. The noteworthy things that I took with me as my learning from that night are the following:
Of the five things I’ve learned from that Scripture, the most applicable learning will be number four. If you are familiar with the saying, “Everything happens for a reason” I guess number four is an essential answer and one of the reasons why most or some good things come to an end. There are a lot of things that we attach ourselves at – relationships, career, money, parties – yet all of them are the things that keeps us away from making a good relationship with our faith. For example, if we look at a failed relationship, we would sometimes ask why a good thing has to end- It might be because you keep so much of your time and attention to the relationship that the relationship itself is keeping us away from God. And God wants us to keep our attachment to no one else but the true vine. He trims away all the unnecessary attachments we have that prevent us from bearing fruits.
It is difficult to comprehend why a good thing has to come to an end. With lack of a strong faith some would rebel and question God. God wants for us to produce fruits, remain attached to the true vine, and He is saving us because He does not want us to belong to the branches that had to be cut and thrown to the fire. Nobody said that life is going to be easy, we encounter a lot of temptations which makes us sin. Everything we experience here on Earth is temporary and if we are followers of Jesus Christ, we know that we aim to have eternal life with Him and the Father. As sinners, we are given each day to reflect on our lives, think about God, asking for His forgiveness and follow Christ; and it is through these things that we are given the opportunity to become a part of God’s family and have eternal life.
Jesus wants us to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). And it is not enough that we know what fruits to bear, but to also have the right actions and right attitude. There are those who go to church on Sundays, who goes to Bible study, who does charitable works, which does ministry for God – but lacks the right attitude (i.e. they pride themselves of what they do or are not willing to forgive others). They are also those who have the right attitude but lack the conviction to do even the simple things to glorify and thank God- like praying or going to church. God as the vine keeper provides the plant with care, nourishment and keeps it away from the unnecessary things that will make His plant die. God knows which branches needs trimming and which branches needs to be cut. We can fool ourselves, but we can never fool God. God knows which branches are not productive and as much as it hurts Him, He will protect only the bearing fruits and cut away the non-bearing fruits then He throws them to the fire to burn.
It is not going to be easy to follow and obey the commandments, we will fall, we will be tempted, we will sin – but we have faith. It is that faith that sets the difference between the bearing and non-bearing fruits. We know that if we remain in His love, we will always be forgiven and will be given another chance. Cut yourself away from the things that hurt, worry, burdens you or takes your attachment away from the great vine. Remain in God’s love and you are given a love full of joy. Perhaps “full of joy” are just words, but when you feel God’s love working on your life, “full of joy” is God’s great love that is worth more than what money can buy. Money cannot buy a life full of joy – a life full of happiness, a life full of peace of mind.
Now that God trims us to bear more fruits, we should be willing to leave the things that are keeping us away from Jesus. Last Sunday, one of the things I got from the priest’s sermon is to “Let go and God will do wonderful works on you.” It was the simple “Let go and Let God”. Allow God to come to your life and do great wonders for you, move that stone from your heart that prevents Jesus from coming in. Let go of your grasp, even if it hurts – pray for it and let God’s plan come to your life. There is something better that will come to your way – which is worth more than what you once let go of. Have faith and know that God is trimming you for a greater purpose. Let go of that attachment which takes you away from the true vine and allow God to bring someone or something into your life that will bring you closer to Him. God has prepared a great destiny for you and it will not happen unless you are not willing to let Him in your life.
I guess that is why people have been telling me that if I choose my next relationship partner, it should be with someone who brings me closer to God. Because a relationship is not only between two people, but should be a pyramid with God at the centre. Put God at the centre and at the foundation of the relationship, and that relationship will be blessed. That relationship will flourish because it will bear fruits.
“He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” – John 15:2
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything. If you don’t remain in Me, you will be like a branch that is thrown out and dries up. Those branches are gathered up, thrown into a fire, and burned.” – John 15:5-6
“If you keep my commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I kept my Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete.” – John 15:10-11
“It’s not for us to say, “What’s this?” or “For what purpose is that?” All things were created for their own purpose.” – Sirach 39:21 (CEB)