TO CHEW ON: " 'You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.' " John 15:3
In our beautiful passage, John quotes Jesus' words about the mysterious oneness with Him and God that believers can have. Living within the matrix of love and obedience (John 14:23) they will have the Helper—the Holy Spirit—within them. Jesus likens them to branches attached to a main vine that bears fruit because the life of the vine (God) is flowing through them (John 15:1, 4-8).
It all sounds wonderful until we come to the part about pruning and cleansing (John 15:2). Cleansing may be uncomfortable. Pruning may hurt. But, He assures us, they will be so worth it when we see the fruit that comes as a result (John 15:5).
One means of cleansing Jesus mentions is through the word. That idea comes up in other places in the Bible as well. Here are some ways the word is able to cleanse:
- When we obey it:
- When it prunes us:
- When it sanctifies us:
- When it frees us from needless guilt and legalism:
In our quest for fruitfulness, let's acknowledge the place of the word (the Bible) to:
- Set the standard for behavior—and obey it.
- Alert us to what needs subtracting from our lives—then purify and simplify.
- Set us apart for God—in holy living.
- Keep us from needless legalism.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to become increasingly familiar with Your word. Help me to understand it and how it relates to my everyday living, and to obey it. Amen.
MORE: Feast of St. Philip and St. James Apostles
Today the church celebrates the Feast of St. Philip and St. James.
This Collect begins the day's liturgy:
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.