John 15: 1-5

Born to Cling

-From the moment we were born, we long to cling. We cling to things that would give us meaning and joy.
-The real issue, however, is not about the clinging but to what we cling to.
-We place so much of our identity, hope and trust, and cling so closely to our marriage, that it began to produce bad fruits when things didn’t go as expected.
-There is so much temptation in our culture to throw our hopes and expectations on our marriage. (“You complete me” from the movie Jerry Maguire)
-Marriage was not meant for us to throw all of our dreams, our hopes, our expectations, and it was not meant to “complete” us.
-Instead, marriage is meant to point beyond itself to the One who on which we can throw our weight, the One we can cling to.

Clinging to Jesus

-John 15 is a foundational passage for the life of disciples, and therefore it is also a foundational passage in our lives as married couples.
-John 15 is in fact the emotional and theological centre of Jesus’ final speech to His disciples (John 14-17).
-Jesus is making a deep connection between what we cling to and the fruits that we create.
-For Jesus, abiding in Him produces good Kingdom fruit, and we will participate in bringing His Kingdom on earth.
-That on whom we cling to and to whom we abide — shapes drastically the kind of fruits we are producing.
-The word in the original Greek that translated as “abide” is the word “menó”-
-When many commentators talks about how Jesus was using the word “menó”, He is likely talking about grafting a new branch into the grape vine.
-If the branch is left on its own, it will die. But in grafting, the trunk grows into and around the branch and connects its life to the branches.–
-When we connect ourselves to the life of God, it is 99% the work of God and 1% our work.
-Spiritual disciplines are meant to be like opening a door, when we open ourselves to the life of God to flow in and through us, and to grow around us.
-The small 1% that we do is not so much a working of our own grace, but the opening of ourselves intentionally for the life of God to pour in and through us.

How do we abide?

-We abide to Jesus by keeping His commandment “that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:9-12)
-In order to produce fruits with your life, you need to abide. And in order to abide, you need to love, just as Jesus has loved us.
-Similar teaching from Paul in Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
-Marriage involves self-sacrifice, but we are not expected to do this on our own.
-We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit, as it is 99% of the work of God (which is the work of the Holy Spirit)
-From Paul’s teaching,  without first receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we cannot possibly sacrifice ourselves.
-Through the power of the — Holy Spirit, we will connect our lives to the True Vine, and receive His life through us to empower us.