A More Perfect Union Part 1 | TBN

A More Perfect Union Part 1

Watch A More Perfect Union Part 1
September 29, 2019
26:47

Fresh Life with Levi Lusko

Closed captions

A More Perfect Union Part 1

Show timecode
Hide timecode
  • is what He was saying is everything that came before, was just hinting at who I am.
  • 00:00:05.010 --> 00:00:09.030
  • You no longer are saved by being a part of a people, you're
  • 00:00:09.050 --> 00:00:12.010
  • saved by knowing a person and I am that person. Salvation
  • 00:00:12.030 --> 00:00:15.010
  • has a name and the name is Jesus.
  • 00:00:15.030 --> 00:00:18.000
  • He's saying in being connected to me you can experience
  • 00:00:18.020 --> 00:00:22.030
  • the life of God. The life of God will flow into your life, flow
  • 00:00:22.050 --> 00:00:27.020
  • into your heart. The life of God will flow into your relationships, flow into your family.
  • 00:00:27.040 --> 00:00:32.280
  • You're branches but I'm the vine and everything contained
  • 00:00:33.000 --> 00:00:38.120
  • in the old testament is fulfilled in me.
  • 00:00:38.140 --> 00:00:40.100
  • Hey this is Levi and I just want to thank you so much for
  • 00:00:40.120 --> 00:00:43.150
  • watching Fresh Life TV. It is such an incredible privilege to
  • 00:00:43.170 --> 00:00:47.230
  • get to bring God's word into your life.
  • 00:00:47.250 --> 00:00:50.010
  • And that's exactly what we're about to do. We're going to
  • 00:00:50.030 --> 00:00:53.010
  • have our attention turned to the Gospel of John where
  • 00:00:53.030 --> 00:00:56.010
  • we're going to be looking at the seven different times that
  • 00:00:56.030 --> 00:00:58.210
  • Jesus disclosed His identity using the words, I Am, and
  • 00:00:58.230 --> 00:01:03.130
  • then telling us who He is.
  • 00:01:03.150 --> 00:01:04.290
  • We'll be going from the bread of life, to the true vine, to the
  • 00:01:05.010 --> 00:01:09.200
  • door of the sheep,the good shepherd to the resurrection
  • 00:01:09.220 --> 00:01:14.110
  • and the life, come on.
  • 00:01:14.130 --> 00:01:15.230
  • It's going to be an incredible ride.
  • 00:01:15.250 --> 00:01:18.040
  • And I also love that He chose seven different times to tell
  • 00:01:18.060 --> 00:01:21.220
  • us who He is. Cause if you know anything about scripture
  • 00:01:21.240 --> 00:01:24.140
  • you'll know the number seven is kind of like one of God's
  • 00:01:24.160 --> 00:01:26.190
  • favorite Easter eggs.
  • 00:01:26.210 --> 00:01:28.050
  • He loves to hide in and pepper in not only into the scripture
  • 00:01:28.070 --> 00:01:31.170
  • but really into all of creation, this number seven that really
  • 00:01:31.190 --> 00:01:35.070
  • speaks of completion or fullness. It's in the calendar, seven days in the week.
  • 00:01:35.090 --> 00:01:40.150
  • It's in the rainbow, seven colors. It's in the musical scale,
  • 00:01:40.170 --> 00:01:44.110
  • It's even in the amount of Harry Potter books there are.
  • 00:01:44.130 --> 00:01:47.010
  • Now I'm not sure if God had anything to do with that but it
  • 00:01:47.030 --> 00:01:50.040
  • is an incredible thing because in the seven statements of
  • 00:01:50.060 --> 00:01:53.230
  • Jesus, this magnificent seven we're going to ge a totality,a
  • 00:01:53.250 --> 00:01:58.240
  • full picture of the rainbow of who He is.
  • 00:01:58.260 --> 00:02:01.160
  • And how He wanted to reveal himself to us. And through
  • 00:02:01.180 --> 00:02:04.250
  • that our lives can be changed in the process.
  • 00:02:04.270 --> 00:02:07.070
  • If in any way you're encouraged by this message or
  • 00:02:07.090 --> 00:02:10.040
  • blessed we sure would love to hear about it.
  • 00:02:10.060 --> 00:02:12.050
  • Shoot me an email Levi@freshlife.church and I would love
  • 00:02:12.070 --> 00:02:15.280
  • to hear what God's doing in your life.
  • 00:02:16.000 --> 00:02:18.000
  • As well if you want to support this ministry financially and
  • 00:02:18.020 --> 00:02:21.260
  • help us to bring Gods word to more people it would be a
  • 00:02:21.280 --> 00:02:25.100
  • thrill to partner with you in that way.
  • 00:02:25.120 --> 00:02:27.050
  • You can click the give button at levilusko.com.
  • 00:02:27.070 --> 00:02:30.190
  • Well let's jump in today's message.
  • 00:02:30.210 --> 00:02:33.060
  • We're in a series of messages we've called Magnificent Seven
  • 00:02:33.080 --> 00:02:36.020
  • If you're just jumping in now, you can catch up on
  • 00:02:36.040 --> 00:02:38.260
  • the app. We have all the messages out there, and also like
  • 00:02:38.280 --> 00:02:42.120
  • to say hello to those who will watch these messages on
  • 00:02:42.140 --> 00:02:45.000
  • Fresh Life TV. We're glad to have you tuning in all over the world, and we're glad that you're with us
  • 00:02:45.020 --> 00:02:51.120
  • So Magnificent Seven is all about these seven times in
  • 00:02:51.140 --> 00:02:55.040
  • John's gospel that Jesus tells us who he is, and the truth is
  • 00:02:55.060 --> 00:02:59.160
  • that what you think of when you think of God is perhaps the
  • 00:02:59.180 --> 00:03:03.000
  • most important thing about you. I mean, that is the most
  • 00:03:03.020 --> 00:03:05.110
  • significant thing to how your life's going to go in the sense
  • 00:03:05.130 --> 00:03:08.230
  • that your idea of who God is informs how you relate to him
  • 00:03:08.250 --> 00:03:13.270
  • and then what you can receive from him. And so it's so
  • 00:03:13.290 --> 00:03:16.290
  • important that we have a proper concept in our heads of
  • 00:03:17.010 --> 00:03:20.120
  • who God is, and Jesus fortunately for us, tells us seven
  • 00:03:20.140 --> 00:03:24.020
  • different times exactly who he is so we can relate to him in
  • 00:03:24.040 --> 00:03:28.080
  • the right way and then be set up to receive from him all he
  • 00:03:28.100 --> 00:03:31.190
  • wants to give us. So this series is seven different times
  • 00:03:31.210 --> 00:03:36.120
  • Jesus says, I am, and then fill in the blank.
  • 00:03:36.140 --> 00:03:39.020
  • And this is the sixth, and he's going to tell us that he's a
  • 00:03:39.040 --> 00:03:42.200
  • vine. He's a vine. Not just any vine, though. He's the true
  • 00:03:42.220 --> 00:03:46.130
  • vine. Look at John 15, starting in verse 1.
  • 00:03:46.150 --> 00:03:49.140
  • I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every
  • 00:03:49.160 --> 00:03:57.040
  • branch in me that does not bear fruit, he takes away, and
  • 00:03:57.060 --> 00:04:02.020
  • every branch that bears fruit, he prunes, that it may bear
  • 00:04:02.040 --> 00:04:06.160
  • more fruit. You are already clean because of the word
  • 00:04:06.180 --> 00:04:10.270
  • which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As
  • 00:04:10.290 --> 00:04:15.220
  • the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the
  • 00:04:15.240 --> 00:04:19.270
  • vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.
  • 00:04:19.290 --> 00:04:25.170
  • Now, here is verse 5-- I think just one of the most beautiful
  • 00:04:25.190 --> 00:04:28.170
  • verses maybe in the New Testament. Jesus speaking-- I
  • 00:04:28.190 --> 00:04:31.020
  • am the vine. You are the branches. He who abides in me,
  • 00:04:31.040 --> 00:04:38.190
  • and I in him bears much fruit, for without me, you can do nothing.
  • 00:04:38.210 --> 00:04:46.250
  • I'm calling this message "A More Perfect Union." For one
  • 00:04:46.270 --> 00:04:53.010
  • thing, I'll finally get to put to use the memorization of the
  • 00:04:53.030 --> 00:04:56.030
  • preamble to the Constitution that took place in my civics
  • 00:04:56.050 --> 00:04:58.170
  • class-- promote the general welfare, provide for the
  • 00:04:58.190 --> 00:05:01.270
  • common defense, secure the blessings of liberty. We do
  • 00:05:01.290 --> 00:05:04.130
  • ordain and establish this Constitution-- the whole thing. But I love this.
  • 00:05:04.150 --> 00:05:07.220
  • This is how it begins-- we, the people, in order to form a
  • 00:05:07.240 --> 00:05:11.240
  • more-- anybody with me? Are you awake today? A more
  • 00:05:11.260 --> 00:05:14.230
  • perfect union. That should be what we're after. We, the
  • 00:05:14.250 --> 00:05:18.020
  • people, should be after, in our relationship with God, a more perfect union.
  • 00:05:18.040 --> 00:05:23.060
  • I like that language because it has built into it the idea of,
  • 00:05:23.080 --> 00:05:28.180
  • we're looking for progress, not perfection. It's not ever
  • 00:05:28.200 --> 00:05:32.020
  • going to be a perfect union until Heaven. Our relationship
  • 00:05:32.040 --> 00:05:35.150
  • with God will be perfect when we're with Him face to face
  • 00:05:35.170 --> 00:05:38.030
  • and there's no more sin. But until that day, we should be
  • 00:05:38.050 --> 00:05:40.260
  • striving for, looking to achieve, what we can never fully get,
  • 00:05:40.280 --> 00:05:45.130
  • and that is a more perfect union.
  • 00:05:45.150 --> 00:05:47.060
  • We're never going to have a perfect union on this Earth
  • 00:05:47.080 --> 00:05:49.200
  • because we're going to make mistakes, and we're going to
  • 00:05:49.220 --> 00:05:51.150
  • fall short. But we should be striving for-- not perfection.
  • 00:05:51.170 --> 00:05:55.030
  • What should we be striving for? Movement in the right direction.
  • 00:05:55.050 --> 00:05:58.230
  • Now, here's kind of the big idea today. To the extent that
  • 00:05:58.250 --> 00:06:02.120
  • your relationship, or your connection, with God is weak,
  • 00:06:02.140 --> 00:06:05.250
  • you will be, too. When your connection to God is weak, you
  • 00:06:05.270 --> 00:06:10.150
  • will be, too. So we, the people, should be focused on a
  • 00:06:10.170 --> 00:06:14.080
  • more perfect union. We should be working towards and
  • 00:06:14.100 --> 00:06:18.030
  • looking towards-- our goal should be to have a more perfect union with God.
  • 00:06:18.050 --> 00:06:23.000
  • Now, this will probably make more sense to you if you can
  • 00:06:23.020 --> 00:06:26.070
  • understand the context in which it was originally said
  • 00:06:26.090 --> 00:06:29.030
  • because John's gospel contains the story of Jesus's life,
  • 00:06:29.050 --> 00:06:33.140
  • and he moves from, of course, the cradle to the grave He
  • 00:06:33.160 --> 00:06:37.150
  • moves from the manger to the empty grave and then
  • 00:06:37.170 --> 00:06:40.120
  • beyond. And so John's telling this story, and where this
  • 00:06:40.140 --> 00:06:43.020
  • particular statement fits in that story is ultra significant. Why?
  • 00:06:43.040 --> 00:06:47.090
  • Because you remember last time we got together, we
  • 00:06:47.110 --> 00:06:49.180
  • talked about Jesus saying, I am the way, the truth, and the
  • 00:06:49.200 --> 00:06:52.280
  • life, and no one comes to the Father except through me?
  • 00:06:53.000 --> 00:06:55.190
  • And we told you that he said that during the day of the Last
  • 00:06:55.210 --> 00:06:58.280
  • Supper, which is what we know of as Thursday before
  • 00:06:59.000 --> 00:07:02.030
  • Good Friday, and this is still that same day. Only the
  • 00:07:02.050 --> 00:07:05.290
  • conversation that began in the upper room where he
  • 00:07:06.010 --> 00:07:08.140
  • washed the disciples feet and served the bread and the
  • 00:07:08.160 --> 00:07:11.120
  • wine, speaking of his death, speaking of his blood that was
  • 00:07:11.140 --> 00:07:14.140
  • to be shed, he then, after the meal, took a walk.
  • 00:07:14.160 --> 00:07:17.100
  • And I love taking a walk after a meal. It aids in digestion.
  • 00:07:17.120 --> 00:07:20.040
  • It's good for you, and it allows you to eat more afterwards.
  • 00:07:20.060 --> 00:07:22.250
  • Thanksgiving dinner, take a little walk, and like, wow, I got
  • 00:07:22.270 --> 00:07:25.150
  • my second wind. Let's go have some pie. You know what I'm saying?
  • 00:07:25.170 --> 00:07:27.160
  • So they finished eating, and I just-- I love Jesus the more I
  • 00:07:27.180 --> 00:07:30.170
  • get to know him. When they finish eating, he says let's go
  • 00:07:30.190 --> 00:07:32.270
  • take a walk, and as they take a walk, he continues the talk.
  • 00:07:32.290 --> 00:07:36.120
  • It's a mobile discussion, a mobile conversation, and what
  • 00:07:36.140 --> 00:07:40.130
  • we just read-- listen to me, it took place somewhere in
  • 00:07:40.150 --> 00:07:44.030
  • between the upper room and the Garden of Gethsemane.
  • 00:07:44.050 --> 00:07:47.050
  • The Garden of Gethsemane-- where he prayed, and his
  • 00:07:47.070 --> 00:07:49.190
  • sweat became like great drops of blood. The Garden of
  • 00:07:49.210 --> 00:07:51.240
  • Gethsemane-- where Judas came and betrayed him with a
  • 00:07:51.260 --> 00:07:53.260
  • kiss. The Garden of Gethsemane-- where the soldiers
  • 00:07:53.280 --> 00:07:56.050
  • came and arrested him and took him to face his six trials
  • 00:07:56.070 --> 00:08:00.050
  • that would ultimately culminate in him being flogged with a
  • 00:08:00.070 --> 00:08:03.170
  • whip and nailed to that cross, and then eventually, of
  • 00:08:03.190 --> 00:08:06.190
  • course, triumphantly rising from-- spoiler alert-- from the
  • 00:08:06.210 --> 00:08:09.100
  • dead on Easter Sunday. And we're going to get to that
  • 00:08:09.120 --> 00:08:13.110
  • seventh I Am statement and figure out how a guy like that
  • 00:08:13.130 --> 00:08:16.220
  • could just die and then get back up, and he'll tell us who he
  • 00:08:16.240 --> 00:08:19.090
  • is that would allow him to do such a thing, and how he's
  • 00:08:19.110 --> 00:08:22.070
  • willing to do that for you, too.
  • 00:08:22.090 --> 00:08:25.080
  • But somewhere along the way He chose to speak about vineyards and
  • 00:08:25.100 --> 00:08:30.130
  • vines and branches, and the tone of His talk became
  • 00:08:30.150 --> 00:08:34.050
  • agricultural. But if you can imagine where they were where
  • 00:08:34.080 --> 00:08:39.020
  • he likely said these words, it makes all the sense in the
  • 00:08:39.040 --> 00:08:42.000
  • world because it was a roughly one mile walk, and you can
  • 00:08:42.020 --> 00:08:46.150
  • today go to Jerusalem and take this exact walk. We did it at
  • 00:08:46.170 --> 00:08:49.140
  • night, walking from somewhere in the Old City of David in
  • 00:08:49.160 --> 00:08:53.010
  • an upper-- an upper room.
  • 00:08:53.030 --> 00:08:54.240
  • In the upper room. Trust me, they wish they could find it,
  • 00:08:54.260 --> 00:08:57.140
  • and they'd have you taking selfies there. But-- and they'd
  • 00:08:57.160 --> 00:09:00.030
  • be selling tchotchkes from the-- oh, yeah, Last Supper
  • 00:09:00.050 --> 00:09:03.090
  • communion kit from The Upper Room.
  • 00:09:03.110 --> 00:09:05.210
  • But some upper room in the Old City of David, and you can
  • 00:09:05.230 --> 00:09:09.230
  • trace the steps that Jesus likely took to go through the
  • 00:09:09.250 --> 00:09:14.060
  • Kedron Valley and, eventually, to the base of the Mount of
  • 00:09:14.080 --> 00:09:16.290
  • Olives, where we know where the Garden of Gethsemane
  • 00:09:17.010 --> 00:09:19.150
  • is. And it's beautiful. It's significant. It's charged. It's electric
  • 00:09:19.170 --> 00:09:24.070
  • and magnetic to trace those footsteps and think about
  • 00:09:24.090 --> 00:09:26.240
  • Jesus and his band of, now, 11 as they took that fateful walk.
  • 00:09:26.260 --> 00:09:31.280
  • You'll pass, on the right hand side, the terraced hillside
  • 00:09:32.000 --> 00:09:36.160
  • And now there are many graves, and there are some
  • 00:09:36.180 --> 00:09:39.040
  • homes, but on the terraced hillside in that day, they would
  • 00:09:39.060 --> 00:09:42.060
  • have been filled with vineyards. It would have been just
  • 00:09:42.080 --> 00:09:44.260
  • vineyard after vineyard after vineyard on the hillside that he
  • 00:09:44.280 --> 00:09:47.230
  • would have been walking by on his right. But listen to me,
  • 00:09:47.250 --> 00:09:50.200
  • on his left, there would have been the gates that would
  • 00:09:50.220 --> 00:09:53.000
  • take you into the courtyard of the Temple Complex, and
  • 00:09:53.020 --> 00:09:56.170
  • this temple had gates that were adorned with a giant
  • 00:09:56.190 --> 00:10:00.000
  • golden vine, a golden vine above the gates. So to pass into
  • 00:10:00.020 --> 00:10:05.260
  • the courtyard, to pass into the temple, you had to walk
  • 00:10:05.280 --> 00:10:09.000
  • under a golden vine.
  • 00:10:09.020 --> 00:10:10.280
  • And it was at this point, perhaps, in the journey that Jesus,
  • 00:10:11.000 --> 00:10:14.210
  • flanked on his right by vineyards and his left by a giant
  • 00:10:14.230 --> 00:10:18.190
  • golden vine-- and in the night light with torches glowing, it
  • 00:10:18.210 --> 00:10:22.280
  • would have been dazzling above the white limestone
  • 00:10:23.000 --> 00:10:26.030
  • gates-- that Jesus turned to his disciples and said, I am the
  • 00:10:26.050 --> 00:10:30.260
  • vine. You are the branches. If you abide in me, and I in you,
  • 00:10:30.280 --> 00:10:35.110
  • you're going to bear so much fruit. But apart from me, you can do nothing.
  • 00:10:35.130 --> 00:10:40.180
  • You would have been able to hear a pin drop. But the
  • 00:10:40.200 --> 00:10:44.030
  • disciples would have heard it in a different way than we
  • 00:10:44.050 --> 00:10:46.110
  • hear because we're like, oh, that's poetic, and Jesus has
  • 00:10:46.130 --> 00:10:48.150
  • good timing, and great object lesson. No, no, it was so
  • 00:10:48.170 --> 00:10:52.100
  • significant, what he was saying Why?
  • 00:10:52.120 --> 00:10:54.230
  • Because the olive-- or the-- well, the olive, too, but that's a
  • 00:10:54.250 --> 00:10:59.270
  • different sermon. The vine was to the nation of Israel what
  • 00:10:59.290 --> 00:11:06.200
  • the bald eagle is to America. So you need to understand, it
  • 00:11:06.220 --> 00:11:10.200
  • was a symbol that was, all throughout the Old Testament, a
  • 00:11:10.220 --> 00:11:13.220
  • picture of the nation of Israel the vine. And it was to us
  • 00:11:13.240 --> 00:11:18.150
  • what our bald eagle soaring through the sky is, this ultra patriotic symbol.
  • 00:11:18.170 --> 00:11:23.120
  • So Jesus was, essentially, in saying, I am the vine, he was
  • 00:11:23.140 --> 00:11:28.180
  • saying, I am-- if you can receive it, I am the stars and
  • 00:11:28.200 --> 00:11:31.280
  • stripes. I am Uncle Sam, somebody. That's what he was
  • 00:11:32.000 --> 00:11:35.280
  • saying, but times 10.000 because being a part of the nation
  • 00:11:36.000 --> 00:11:40.220
  • of Israel wasn't just something that you were involved in
  • 00:11:40.240 --> 00:11:44.130
  • politically. But it was also your identity spiritually, for this
  • 00:11:44.150 --> 00:11:51.020
  • was a religious entity and not just a people group that were involved in a country.
  • 00:11:51.040 --> 00:11:57.040
  • You see, your involvement in this nation gave you salvation
  • 00:11:57.060 --> 00:12:01.210
  • spiritually. Your connection to Israel connected you to God
  • 00:12:01.230 --> 00:12:05.010
  • because he was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
  • 00:12:05.030 --> 00:12:09.080
  • and that family line is what led to there being a people of
  • 00:12:09.100 --> 00:12:14.130
  • Israel at all. So in the Old Testament, when someone who
  • 00:12:14.150 --> 00:12:18.010
  • was from a different country or a different background
  • 00:12:18.030 --> 00:12:20.120
  • wanted to convert to worship the God of the Bible, the God
  • 00:12:20.140 --> 00:12:23.160
  • of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-- we just keep calling Him
  • 00:12:23.180 --> 00:12:25.120
  • that because they worshiped that God as distinct from all the other gods.
  • 00:12:25.140 --> 00:12:29.070
  • Babylonians and Philistines-- they worshiped the sun. They
  • 00:12:29.090 --> 00:12:33.000
  • worshiped the moon. They worshiped the war God. They
  • 00:12:33.020 --> 00:12:34.240
  • worshiped Aphrodite.
  • 00:12:34.260 --> 00:12:36.010
  • The Romans had so many gods. The Greeks had so many
  • 00:12:36.030 --> 00:12:38.290
  • gods. There's a million gods out there.
  • 00:12:39.010 --> 00:12:40.210
  • So which god do you worship? I worship the God that
  • 00:12:40.230 --> 00:12:43.010
  • Abraham worships, the God who created the heavens and
  • 00:12:43.030 --> 00:12:46.110
  • the Earth, and this is the God that we see revered by this
  • 00:12:46.130 --> 00:12:49.060
  • family that grew into this nation of Israel. So when you
  • 00:12:49.080 --> 00:12:52.140
  • would convert to worship that God, you would take on the
  • 00:12:52.160 --> 00:12:56.100
  • identity of being a part of that nation.
  • 00:12:56.120 --> 00:12:58.260
  • You would assume their customs, and you would assume
  • 00:12:58.280 --> 00:13:02.220
  • their practices, which involve dietary things. If you're a
  • 00:13:02.240 --> 00:13:06.110
  • dude, it involved circumcision. It was a whole deal. So you
  • 00:13:06.130 --> 00:13:10.220
  • became a part of this covenant people.
  • 00:13:10.240 --> 00:13:14.280
  • So Jesus, in saying that's what you've known of as being
  • 00:13:15.000 --> 00:13:19.260
  • the vine, being a part of Israel, keeping these laws, not
  • 00:13:19.280 --> 00:13:23.030
  • eating pork, all of the rest, taking a day off one day a week,
  • 00:13:23.050 --> 00:13:26.200
  • all of the laws, all of the promises, all the covenant that
  • 00:13:26.220 --> 00:13:29.220
  • made them distinct people-- that was being a part of the
  • 00:13:29.240 --> 00:13:32.210
  • vine. But guess what, I am the true vine. I am the vine. It is
  • 00:13:32.230 --> 00:13:36.140
  • no longer your being connected to a people that gives you salvation. It's you knowing a person.
  • 00:13:36.160 --> 00:13:41.110
  • He's saying salvation has a name, and the name is Jesus,
  • 00:13:41.130 --> 00:13:46.160
  • that you can be a part of God's family by being connected
  • 00:13:46.180 --> 00:13:51.150
  • to me. You don't have to be connected nationally. You can
  • 00:13:51.170 --> 00:13:55.090
  • now just be connected relationally. He's saying, I have
  • 00:13:55.110 --> 00:13:59.190
  • fulfilled all of that, and He's saying-- when He tells us He's
  • 00:13:59.210 --> 00:14:03.220
  • the vine, all of that was meant to just introduce Jesus, who
  • 00:14:03.240 --> 00:14:07.180
  • came out of the nation of Israel, and He's now going to birth
  • 00:14:07.200 --> 00:14:11.010
  • something brand new-- the church.
  • 00:14:11.030 --> 00:14:12.270
  • And out of Gentiles and Jews alike people, all over the
  • 00:14:12.290 --> 00:14:16.230
  • world, whoever would want to come to the ends of the
  • 00:14:16.250 --> 00:14:19.110
  • earth, whoever would look to Jesus, could be saved and
  • 00:14:19.130 --> 00:14:23.060
  • find that life flowing through them. Why? Because a vine
  • 00:14:23.080 --> 00:14:27.190
  • sends its life to it's branches. A vine is the trunk, and its
  • 00:14:27.210 --> 00:14:32.070
  • branches receive that life.
  • 00:14:32.090 --> 00:14:33.290
  • So Jesus, when He says, I'm the true vine, He's saying,
  • 00:14:34.010 --> 00:14:35.230
  • through me, the life of God flows.
  • 00:14:35.250 --> 00:14:38.210
  • Over the last 4 years Levi Lusko has written 3 best selling
  • 00:14:38.230 --> 00:14:42.240
  • books.Through The Eyes of a Lion, Swipe Right and I Declare War.
  • 00:14:42.260 --> 00:14:46.180
  • Each of these books targets different yet important topics
  • 00:14:46.200 --> 00:14:49.270
  • that will help you live the life of freedom and power that God has planned for you.
  • 00:14:49.290 --> 00:14:54.040
  • Through The Eyes of a Lion is all about facing impossible
  • 00:14:54.060 --> 00:14:57.130
  • pain and finding incredible power through it.
  • 00:14:57.150 --> 00:15:00.070
  • Swipe Right exposes the Life and Death Power of Sex and
  • 00:15:00.090 --> 00:15:03.260
  • Romance. It will equip you to train today for the relationship you want tomorrow.
  • 00:15:03.280 --> 00:15:08.070
  • I Declare War will help you get out of your own way by
  • 00:15:08.090 --> 00:15:11.010
  • giving you the four keys you need to win the battle with yourself.
  • 00:15:11.030 --> 00:15:14.070
  • For a donation of $30 you could receive a bundle of all
  • 00:15:14.090 --> 00:15:18.080
  • three of these books. Get your bundle today by visiting LeviLusko.com
  • 00:15:18.100 --> 00:15:22.290
  • And if you connect yourself to me, my life will flow through
  • 00:15:23.010 --> 00:15:27.290
  • you. No matter who you are, no matter what you've done,
  • 00:15:28.010 --> 00:15:31.170
  • you can bring forth fruit if you're connected to me.
  • 00:15:31.190 --> 00:15:36.010
  • I think there's four really important things we can learn
  • 00:15:36.030 --> 00:15:38.210
  • from the connection between a branch and the vine,
  • 00:15:38.230 --> 00:15:42.020
  • between the branch and the trunk, that can apply to our
  • 00:15:42.040 --> 00:15:45.180
  • relationship with God. Number one-- their relationship is
  • 00:15:45.200 --> 00:15:48.270
  • organic. A vine and branch have an organic relationship.
  • 00:15:48.290 --> 00:15:52.250
  • It's not mechanical. It's not robotic.
  • 00:15:52.270 --> 00:15:55.230
  • It's organic. There's the essence of life in it. It's something that's living.
  • 00:15:55.250 --> 00:16:00.150
  • it's something that's dynamic. It's something that grows.
  • 00:16:00.170 --> 00:16:04.050
  • And God wants your relationship with him to be like that,
  • 00:16:04.070 --> 00:16:07.200
  • and that means that there needs to be a spontaneity to it.
  • 00:16:07.220 --> 00:16:11.090
  • Yes, there are things that every plant needs-- sunlight and
  • 00:16:11.110 --> 00:16:14.240
  • air, water, got it-- but you're also just going to be in tune to its needs.
  • 00:16:14.260 --> 00:16:19.010
  • If you were to leave your kids with a sitter, or if you were to
  • 00:16:19.030 --> 00:16:22.140
  • leave your dog with someone while you went out of town
  • 00:16:22.160 --> 00:16:25.060
  • you would tell them what you do, but they my text you and
  • 00:16:25.080 --> 00:16:28.230
  • say this has happened, and so you might have to pivot. Oh,
  • 00:16:28.250 --> 00:16:30.270
  • that's-- that completely changes everything. That's
  • 00:16:30.290 --> 00:16:33.090
  • happened? OK, now, here's what I would do in that situation.
  • 00:16:33.110 --> 00:16:36.010
  • Oh, yeah, right, I forgot to tell you, sometimes he does that.
  • 00:16:36.030 --> 00:16:38.240
  • Sometimes he swallows LEGOs. Here's what I do when
  • 00:16:38.260 --> 00:16:41.260
  • he-- you see what I'm saying?
  • 00:16:41.280 --> 00:16:43.100
  • There's-- you're going to pivot. You're going to flip. It's a
  • 00:16:43.120 --> 00:16:45.180
  • living thing. So if your relationship with God is just merely a
  • 00:16:45.200 --> 00:16:49.170
  • list of dos and don'ts, if it's just a religious thing -- I just do
  • 00:16:49.190 --> 00:16:53.050
  • this; I just do that; I just do this; I just do that-- that's not organic.
  • 00:16:53.070 --> 00:16:56.200
  • Imagine if you approached your relationship with your
  • 00:16:56.220 --> 00:16:59.150
  • girlfriend or your relationship with your husband in that way.
  • 00:16:59.170 --> 00:17:02.080
  • I merely do this, and you merely do that. Here are the
  • 00:17:02.100 --> 00:17:04.190
  • flowers. Why? Because I'm supposed to give them to you.
  • 00:17:04.210 --> 00:17:07.120
  • Ugh, no, there's got to be life to it. It's not meant to be
  • 00:17:07.140 --> 00:17:13.110
  • transactional. It's not meant to be robotic.
  • 00:17:13.130 --> 00:17:16.280
  • God is not an ATM machine. If I push this series of things
  • 00:17:17.000 --> 00:17:20.080
  • and show up somewhere on Sunday morning, and I read
  • 00:17:20.100 --> 00:17:22.180
  • my two verses, now you're obligated to give me salvation.
  • 00:17:22.200 --> 00:17:25.160
  • That's not loving. That's not life giving.
  • 00:17:25.180 --> 00:17:28.250
  • God doesn't want there to be this sense of, I do this, you
  • 00:17:28.270 --> 00:17:33.220
  • do that. He wants it to be a friendship. Is your relationship
  • 00:17:33.240 --> 00:17:37.060
  • with God organic? Is there a friendship to it? Can you feel
  • 00:17:37.080 --> 00:17:41.030
  • and sense his passion, his love for you?
  • 00:17:41.050 --> 00:17:45.040
  • You have friends in your life that you can't wait to tell them
  • 00:17:45.060 --> 00:17:48.020
  • things. That should be how it is with you and God. It should
  • 00:17:48.040 --> 00:17:50.220
  • be this idea, like I want to talk to God. I want to know God.
  • 00:17:50.240 --> 00:17:53.200
  • I want my walk with God to grow. I want it to flex. I want it
  • 00:17:53.220 --> 00:17:57.260
  • to mature. I want it to deepen. I want it to be something
  • 00:17:57.280 --> 00:18:01.240
  • that's beautiful, something that's organic.
  • 00:18:01.260 --> 00:18:05.070
  • There's a second thing, as we think about this agricultural
  • 00:18:05.090 --> 00:18:08.200
  • metaphor, as Jesus wants you to relate to him like a branch
  • 00:18:08.220 --> 00:18:11.200
  • does to a vine, it should be exclusive, exclusive. When you
  • 00:18:11.220 --> 00:18:17.020
  • think about a vine that's shooting off these branches, those
  • 00:18:17.040 --> 00:18:20.240
  • branches have a committed relationship with that vine.
  • 00:18:20.260 --> 00:18:24.130
  • They're not looking around, seeing other vines, going you
  • 00:18:24.150 --> 00:18:26.260
  • know what, I'm going to go to that vine. [MAKES SQUEAKING NOISES] Plunk.
  • 00:18:26.280 --> 00:18:31.030
  • No, it's committed. It's exclusive. It's not sizing up other
  • 00:18:31.050 --> 00:18:35.210
  • vines, seeing where there's better sunlight. We're
  • 00:18:35.230 --> 00:18:39.060
  • committed to the vine, and this is what Jesus had in his
  • 00:18:39.080 --> 00:18:42.200
  • mind when He said-- look at the language one more time-- I am the true vine.
  • 00:18:42.220 --> 00:18:46.220
  • What was He saying? There's a lot of other vines out there.
  • 00:18:46.240 --> 00:18:49.160
  • There's a lot of other things promising to flow life into you.
  • 00:18:49.180 --> 00:18:53.010
  • You can look to a lot of things in this world to cause your
  • 00:18:53.030 --> 00:18:56.110
  • life to be filled with the essence of life.
  • 00:18:56.130 --> 00:18:59.180
  • We could look to our career. We could look to money. We
  • 00:18:59.200 --> 00:19:02.130
  • could look to the party scene. We could look to doing a lot
  • 00:19:02.150 --> 00:19:05.180
  • of things to get our essence of life from, and Jesus isn't
  • 00:19:05.200 --> 00:19:09.140
  • saying there's no other vines. He just said there's no other true vines.
  • 00:19:09.160 --> 00:19:12.230
  • The other vines are false vines. Why? Because they will
  • 00:19:12.250 --> 00:19:15.060
  • promise to put life into you, and they will give you a good
  • 00:19:15.080 --> 00:19:18.140
  • time for a little bit, but then eventually and ultimately, they will suck the life out of you.
  • 00:19:18.160 --> 00:19:22.290
  • And some day, you're going to wake up. Some day you're
  • 00:19:23.010 --> 00:19:25.070
  • going to look up and go,wait a minute, I feel withered. I
  • 00:19:25.090 --> 00:19:27.190
  • feel dry because the vine that you've connected yourself to
  • 00:19:27.210 --> 00:19:31.110
  • is not the vine that's putting life into you. It's taking
  • 00:19:31.130 --> 00:19:34.190
  • something from you.
  • 00:19:34.210 --> 00:19:36.020
  • Isn't this what the prodigal son discovered? He had it good
  • 00:19:36.040 --> 00:19:38.290
  • at home. He's connected to the true vine. But then the
  • 00:19:39.010 --> 00:19:41.240
  • exclusive relationship was broken when he decided to give
  • 00:19:41.260 --> 00:19:45.240
  • into the wanderlust, and he took all the money, cashed out,
  • 00:19:45.260 --> 00:19:48.230
  • and went to a far off city.
  • 00:19:48.250 --> 00:19:50.080
  • And there was hookers, and there was buying rounds for
  • 00:19:50.100 --> 00:19:52.220
  • the whole bar, and there was the party scene, the
  • 00:19:52.240 --> 00:19:54.190
  • penthouse at Caesar's. And, man, he had so many friends.
  • 00:19:54.210 --> 00:19:57.140
  • All the other branches were like [IMITATING CLUB MUSIC].
  • 00:19:57.160 --> 00:20:00.130
  • There are little leaves fluttering, making it rain,
  • 00:20:00.150 --> 00:20:02.290
  • little leaves up in the air. It was crazy.
  • 00:20:03.010 --> 00:20:05.160
  • But then, listen, then eventually, he ran out of money, and a
  • 00:20:05.180 --> 00:20:09.250
  • famine hit the land. And then all of his friends bolted. I
  • 00:20:09.270 --> 00:20:13.200
  • mean, he's texting them. None of them are writing him
  • 00:20:13.220 --> 00:20:15.240
  • back. They're like, new phone, who dis?
  • 00:20:15.260 --> 00:20:17.260
  • No one's responding to him. And what happened next? The
  • 00:20:17.280 --> 00:20:21.200
  • Bible says that he fell on hard times, and he was he was
  • 00:20:21.220 --> 00:20:24.190
  • weak, and he had nothing. And he was so eventually
  • 00:20:24.210 --> 00:20:28.010
  • desperate that he looked for work at the most unspeakable
  • 00:20:28.030 --> 00:20:32.000
  • job a Jewish boy could take-- feeding pigs.
  • 00:20:32.020 --> 00:20:34.270
  • And he was so hungry, he began to eat the food he was
  • 00:20:34.290 --> 00:20:38.170
  • serving to the pigs. And he realized how good he had it
  • 00:20:38.190 --> 00:20:41.270
  • back home, so he decided to crawl back to his father,
  • 00:20:41.290 --> 00:20:44.120
  • saying to himself maybe my father will take me on as a
  • 00:20:44.140 --> 00:20:47.000
  • servant. Certainly, I'm not worthy to be his son anymore.
  • 00:20:47.020 --> 00:20:49.250
  • So he-- now this little branch makes a little long trip home.
  • 00:20:49.270 --> 00:20:52.130
  • [MAKES SQUEAKING NOISES] This is the branch. This is
  • 00:20:52.150 --> 00:20:54.140
  • how he crawls. [MAKES SQUEAKING NOISES] Can you
  • 00:20:54.160 --> 00:20:56.130
  • see it? It's kind of like an inch worm. [MAKES SQUEAKING NOISES]
  • 00:20:56.150 --> 00:20:58.270
  • And he's thinking, hanging his head, my father's never
  • 00:20:58.290 --> 00:21:01.220
  • going to love me again. And his father, seeing him a long
  • 00:21:01.240 --> 00:21:04.160
  • way off, he ran to his son. The Bible says that he scooped
  • 00:21:04.180 --> 00:21:08.130
  • this little branch up into his arms and rushed it back to the
  • 00:21:08.150 --> 00:21:11.150
  • greenhouse, connected it back to the vine, fired up the
  • 00:21:11.170 --> 00:21:14.180
  • misters, got shots of chlorophyll for everybody in the whole place.
  • 00:21:14.200 --> 00:21:18.080
  • The Bible says he struck up the music. What kind of
  • 00:21:18.100 --> 00:21:20.200
  • music? Classical music-- that's what plants like to listen to.
  • 00:21:20.220 --> 00:21:23.160
  • And now, everybody's happy because the prodigal branch
  • 00:21:23.180 --> 00:21:27.210
  • had come home. And that's what your father does when
  • 00:21:27.230 --> 00:21:34.190
  • you make the mistake of trading what should be an
  • 00:21:34.210 --> 00:21:36.280
  • exclusive relationship, and you get tempted by other vines.
  • 00:21:37.000 --> 00:21:41.130
  • We read early in the passage about how He takes away a
  • 00:21:41.150 --> 00:21:45.000
  • branch that's not bearing fruit, a branch that's connected to
  • 00:21:45.020 --> 00:21:47.040
  • Him but just isn't bearing fruit.Why? Maybe it connected
  • 00:21:47.060 --> 00:21:49.060
  • itself to another vine, looking to other things.
  • 00:21:49.080 --> 00:21:52.150
  • And I love that the word "takes away" in the Greek is the
  • 00:21:52.170 --> 00:21:56.250
  • word airo, A-I-R-O. If a branch isn't doing good, He takes it
  • 00:21:56.270 --> 00:22:00.210
  • away, and the definition of that word is so life giving. It says
  • 00:22:00.230 --> 00:22:04.230
  • this-- it means to take up, to lift up from the ground, or lift
  • 00:22:04.250 --> 00:22:10.070
  • with the intent to carry.
  • 00:22:10.090 --> 00:22:11.250
  • Are you weak? Do you feel like you're not producing fruit?
  • 00:22:11.270 --> 00:22:14.070
  • God's heart for you is to pick you up, to lift you up, to take
  • 00:22:14.090 --> 00:22:18.020
  • you up with the intention to carry you. No one's going to
  • 00:22:18.040 --> 00:22:21.140
  • pluck you from your Father's hands. He wants to restore
  • 00:22:21.160 --> 00:22:24.030
  • you to health, restore you to wellness.
  • 00:22:24.050 --> 00:22:25.270
  • Did you barely get in here today? Are you making so many
  • 00:22:25.290 --> 00:22:28.210
  • mistakes, you're like, man, I don't even know where to
  • 00:22:28.230 --> 00:22:30.020
  • begin? God wants to pick you up and lift you up and scoop
  • 00:22:30.040 --> 00:22:33.230
  • you up and bring you back tenderly to the vine so you can
  • 00:22:33.250 --> 00:22:38.060
  • get back to growing fruit. But there needs to be, in your
  • 00:22:38.080 --> 00:22:41.250
  • mind, this mentality that says I want to have an exclusive
  • 00:22:41.270 --> 00:22:44.140
  • relationship with Him, not one of robotic compliance, but
  • 00:22:44.160 --> 00:22:50.070
  • life giving romance, of love for my Father.
  • 00:22:50.090 --> 00:22:53.140
  • That's kind of a weird thing to describe. Romance? A little-- I don't know.
  • 00:22:53.160 --> 00:22:56.140
  • Well, hold on a second. Being a part of the church is
  • 00:22:56.160 --> 00:22:59.110
  • compared to being the bride of Christ, and what is a name
  • 00:22:59.130 --> 00:23:02.230
  • for someone who tends vines professionally? A
  • 00:23:02.250 --> 00:23:06.090
  • husbandman. So there is so many parallels to how we
  • 00:23:06.110 --> 00:23:10.050
  • should approach a healthy marriage, to how we should
  • 00:23:10.070 --> 00:23:12.050
  • think about our relationship with God. Not a robotic
  • 00:23:12.070 --> 00:23:14.210
  • compliance, but a life giving romance.
  • 00:23:14.230 --> 00:23:17.220
  • And then secondly, that exclusivity, that commitment to
  • 00:23:17.240 --> 00:23:21.150
  • Him, and to only Him will we be loyal. There's a third, and
  • 00:23:21.170 --> 00:23:26.090
  • it's this-- continuous. Our relationship with Him should be continuous.
  • 00:23:26.110 --> 00:23:30.130
  • That's the opposite of sporadic. That's the opposite of on
  • 00:23:30.150 --> 00:23:34.180
  • again, off again. That's the opposite of here and there,but
  • 00:23:34.200 --> 00:23:39.180
  • just a continuous connection.
  • 00:23:39.200 --> 00:23:41.210
  • We should fight to foster continuous connection. Why?
  • 00:23:41.230 --> 00:23:45.160
  • Because if our connection to God gets weak, we will be, too.
  • 00:23:45.180 --> 00:23:49.100
  • I think about how it's so easy to wear out phone cords.
  • 00:23:49.120 --> 00:23:55.150
  • Anybody with me? What is it with these phone cords and
  • 00:23:55.170 --> 00:23:58.160
  • their constant breaking? And they seem like they go
  • 00:23:58.180 --> 00:24:01.000
  • through this phase where they sometimes work before
  • 00:24:01.020 --> 00:24:04.060
  • they stop working.
  • 00:24:04.080 --> 00:24:05.060
  • Anybody? Anybody? No? It's just me?
  • 00:24:05.080 --> 00:24:07.120
  • So you plug it in, and nothing. You're looking for the
  • 00:24:07.140 --> 00:24:11.020
  • lightning bolt, aren't you? you're looking for that-- nothing--
  • 00:24:11.040 --> 00:24:12.260
  • and that little sound. Beep. You know?
  • 00:24:12.280 --> 00:24:14.100
  • And so you turn it over, and oh, hey, and then it's like, you
  • 00:24:14.120 --> 00:24:17.230
  • fool yourself into thinking, oh it's fine. It was just a fluke.
  • 00:24:17.250 --> 00:24:20.050
  • And you'll go a couple days, and you'll have to-- anybody with me?
  • 00:24:20.070 --> 00:24:22.080
  • You almost get into wrecks because you're flipping it over,
  • 00:24:22.100 --> 00:24:24.230
  • blowing on it, maybe lick-- don't lick it. That's a mistake I made that mistake.
  • 00:24:24.250 --> 00:24:28.110
  • Cleaning off the connection, and then you finally know it's
  • 00:24:28.130 --> 00:24:33.170
  • time to get rid of it when you plug it in and it's like bing-a,
  • 00:24:33.190 --> 00:24:35.240
  • bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah.
  • 00:24:35.260 --> 00:24:37.200
  • Anybody with me on that? Bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah?
  • 00:24:37.220 --> 00:24:39.170
  • You're like, OK, you are gone. You are the weakest link,
  • 00:24:39.190 --> 00:24:41.240
  • goodbye. Because it's not charging your phone because
  • 00:24:41.260 --> 00:24:45.050
  • there's not a continuous connection. There has to be a
  • 00:24:45.070 --> 00:24:47.220
  • steady continuous connection if that power is going to get through.
  • 00:24:47.240 --> 00:24:51.080
  • A branch is merely a hollow tube. A branch is merely a
  • 00:24:51.100 --> 00:24:55.270
  • hollow tube. It's PVC pipe, and we cannot have the life of
  • 00:24:55.290 --> 00:25:00.110
  • God flowing through us if we're not connected continuously.
  • 00:25:00.130 --> 00:25:03.090
  • So if you keep breaking it off, bringing it on, breaking it off,
  • 00:25:03.110 --> 00:25:06.040
  • and it's just intermittently, I read the Bible here and there, I
  • 00:25:06.060 --> 00:25:10.030
  • pray here and there-- if there's a sporadic-- sometimes, not
  • 00:25:10.050 --> 00:25:15.100
  • so often, every once in a while. If that characterizes your
  • 00:25:15.120 --> 00:25:19.010
  • relationship with God, He can't get the power to you that
  • 00:25:19.030 --> 00:25:22.240
  • He wants to. Your relationship needs to be continuous.
  • 00:25:22.260 --> 00:25:25.020
  • So here's the goal. The goal is to go as many days as we
  • 00:25:25.040 --> 00:25:29.010
  • can without interrupting the connection. As many days as
  • 00:25:29.030 --> 00:25:34.030
  • you can in a row. How many days do you think you could
  • 00:25:34.050 --> 00:25:36.070
  • stack together where you-- each of those days have at
  • 00:25:36.090 --> 00:25:39.250
  • least some point in the day where you get quiet and tell
  • 00:25:39.270 --> 00:25:43.070
  • God something, where you get quiet and let God tell you something.
  • 00:25:43.090 --> 00:25:47.260
  • We overcomplicate the Bible study, making it feel like, oh, I
  • 00:25:47.280 --> 00:25:51.240
  • don't know how to do that on my own. But it's just, at the
  • 00:25:51.260 --> 00:25:54.240
  • end of the day, you telling God something, and then you let
  • 00:25:54.260 --> 00:25:57.160
  • God tell you something. How hard is it to get on YouTube
  • 00:25:57.180 --> 00:26:01.100
  • throw one good worship song on, to read a verse, to listen
  • 00:26:01.120 --> 00:26:06.020
  • to God tell you something from scripture, and then just to
  • 00:26:06.040 --> 00:26:09.000
  • tell him, God, stuff's hard? Marriage is hard. God works hard.
  • 00:26:09.020 --> 00:26:13.200
  • And if it's hard for you to pray because you don't really
  • 00:26:13.220 --> 00:26:16.280
  • know what to do-- I get on my knees, and-- well, maybe
  • 00:26:17.000 --> 00:26:19.120
  • mix it up and get up and take a walk. If every time you took
  • 00:26:19.140 --> 00:26:22.250
  • your wife on a date night, you took to the exact same
  • 00:26:22.270 --> 00:26:25.070
  • restaurant and wore the exact same thing and ordered the
  • 00:26:25.090 --> 00:26:28.100
  • exact same thing, you'd have a weird relationship.
  • 00:26:28.120 --> 00:26:32.190
  • MUSIC
  • 00:26:32.210 --> 00:26:33.210