John 15:20 Do you remember what I told you?
Do your remember everything God has told you?
I find most people, including myself, tend to remember all the encouraging words of Jesus. Why shouldn’t we? It’s those words that I hang on to when the going gets tough. It’s those promises that I not only remind myself but I remind God too.
The King of Kings also gave us marching orders. We do have a purpose and a mission. He told us to go unto all the nations and make disciples. He told us the fields are white for harvest to pray for laborers. He told us to have Communion, to wash feet and baptize people. He told us to love our enemies, and to seek the Kingdom first.
That’s a bold list. It’s an unattainable list if your doing it on your own. Yet throughout His whole ministry He kept saying, I’m the bread of Heaven, I’m the strength you need. “I am the Truth, the Way and the Life.” You can’t get to God unless you go through me.
If your going to do the things God has asked you to do you are going to eat, breath, and pray – Jesus is the only Way. He summed all this up with His last teaching “Jesus, the True Vine.”
Abiding in Him is the key to doing all that He has asked us to do. He is the Vine and we are the branches and when His life giving power flows through us we will have visible signs of His presence in our lives and in the world.
Right after He instructs us about abiding in Him, loving people to the point of laying our lives down for them, His next teaching point is “I chose you.”
Why would he need to teach this? Why would he need to tell us when we start producing much fruit that “He picked us”? Why would he need to affirm this?
When we start revealing Jesus to our family, friends, our country and our church we will share in Christ’s suffering and that is REJECTION.
So let’s get this straight. When we abide in Jesus, like a branch abides in the vine, we will produce fruit, a lot of fruit. Good fruit at that. Fruit like, say love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If we are bringing that kind of fruit to the world why would they reject us?
If that’s all your bringing then they won’t, you will probably get a medal of some sort. You start bringing Jesus, the source of all that fruit and well, that’s a different story. Ask Tim Tebow.
Jesus suffered rejection, first from his own family, his hometown and even God’s church. If you’ve been rejected by someone you love, you’ll agree that rejection is excruciating. It wounds deeply. It’s a wound only God can heal.
Jesus isn’t telling his disciples to stay away from people because they will get hurt. No, He is telling them – if your going to love like I love you will be vulnerable and you will get hurt.
Right before going on the field the coach will say “Remember what I taught you?” Jesus is a great coach. He then shows them exactly how to do this on the Cross when He petitions “Forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.”
Caleb and Joshua was almost stoned because of their faith. Why? Because the Israelites thought their plan was too dangerous for their families. I bet those boys really felt the rejection, I don’t read any family members sticking up for them. When we make stands of faith, you might be the only one standing.
Paul writes Timothy that all of Asia was against him. What could cause a whole continent to reject you? Paul was preaching the Good News, that’s what. He was doing a lot more than sitting around being gentle and kind.
Joyce Meyers was booted out of her denomination! Why? Because she was abiding in Christ! Now look at her! She is probably one of the church’s most influential women.
Rejection goes deep, it is a wound only God can heal. He knew if we start abiding in Him we will feel the deep sting of rejection.
Somehow knowing what’s coming our way seems to help prepare. The sting is soothed when we at least know why it has happened. When we realize that we are being rejected because of our stand it also means we are abiding in Him.
Abiding in Jesus is what it is all about and that makes my heart soar.