A More Perfect Union Part 2 | TBN

A More Perfect Union Part 2

Watch A More Perfect Union Part 2
October 6, 2019
27:08

Fresh Life with Levi Lusko

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A More Perfect Union Part 2

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  • MUSIC
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  • What Jesus is saying and communicating, I'm the true vine, is
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  • what He was saying is everything that came before, was just hinting at who I am.
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  • You no longer are saved by being a part of a people, you're
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  • saved by knowing a person and I am that person. Salvation
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  • has a name and the name is Jesus.
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  • He's saying in being connected to me you can experience the
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  • life of God. The life of God will flow into your life, flow into your
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  • heart. The life of God will flow into your relationships, flow into your family.
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  • You're branches but I'm the vine and everything contained in
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  • the old testament is fulfilled in me.
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  • Hey this is Levi and I just want to thank you so much for
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  • watching Fresh Life TV. It is such an incredible privilege to get
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  • to bring God's word into your life.
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  • And that's exactly what we're about to do. We're going to have
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  • our attention turned to the Gospel of John where we're going
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  • to be looking at the seven different times that Jesus disclosed
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  • His identity using the words, I Am, and then telling us who He is.
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  • We'll be going from the bread of life, to the true vine, to the
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  • door of the sheep,the good shepherd to the resurrection and
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  • the life, come on.
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  • It's going to be an incredible ride.
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  • And I also love that He chose seven different times to tell us
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  • who He is. Cause if you know anything about scripture you'll
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  • know the number seven is kind of like one of God's favorite Easter eggs.
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  • He loves to hide in and pepper in not only into the scripture but
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  • really into all of creation, this number seven that really speaks
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  • of completion or fullness. It's in the calendar, seven days in the week.
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  • It's in the rainbow, seven colors. It's in the musical scale, It's
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  • even in the amount of Harry Potter books there are.
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  • Now I'm not sure if God had anything to do with that but it is an
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  • incredible thing cause in the seven statements of Jesus, this
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  • magnificent seven we're going to ge a totality, a full picture of
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  • the rainbow of who He is.
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  • And how He wanted to reveal himself to us. And through that
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  • our lives can be changed in the process.
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  • If in any way you're encouraged by this message or blessed
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  • we sure would love to hear about it.
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  • Shoot me an email Levi@freshlife.church and I would love to
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  • hear what God's doing in your life.
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  • As well if you want to support this ministry financially and help
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  • us to bring Gods word to more people it would be a thrill to
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  • partner with you in that way.
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  • You can click the give button at levilusko.com.
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  • Well let's jump in to days message.
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  • I am the true vine.What was He saying?
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  • There's a lot of other vines out there.
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  • There's a lot of other things promising to flow life in to you.
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  • You could look to a lot of thins in this world to cause your life
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  • to be filled with the essence of life.
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  • We could look to our career, we could look to money,we could look to the part scene
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  • we could look to doing a lot of things to get our essence of life
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  • from,and Jesus isn't saying thes no other vine.
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  • He just said there's no other true vine.
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  • The other vines are false vines, why,because they will promise to put life into you
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  • and they will give you a good te for a little bit, but then eveny and ultimately
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  • they will suck the life out of you.
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  • And some day you're going to wake up, and some day you're going to look
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  • up and go, wait a minute,
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  • I feel withered, I feel dry,bece thew vine that you've connected yourself too
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  • is not the vine that's putting life into you
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  • it's taking something from you. Isnt this what the prodigal son
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  • discovered?He had it good at hoe He's connected to the true vine
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  • But then the exclusive relationp was broken when he decided too you know give into
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  • the wanderlust,and he took all the
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  • money, cashed out, and went to a far off city.
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  • And there was hookers, and there was buying rounds for the
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  • whole bar, and there was the party scene, the penthouse at
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  • Caesar's. And, man, he had so many friends. All the other
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  • branches were like [IMITATING CLUB MUSIC]. There are little
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  • leaves fluttering, making it rain, little leaves up in the air. It was crazy.
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  • But then, listen, then eventually, he ran out of money, and a
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  • famine hit the land. And then all of his friends bolted. I mean,
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  • he's texting them. None of them are writing him back. They're
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  • like, new phone, who dis?
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  • No one's responding to him. And what happened next? The
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  • Bible says that he fell on hard times, and he was he was weak,
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  • and he had nothing. And he was so eventually desperate that
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  • he looked for work at the most unspeakable job a Jewish boy
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  • could take-- feeding pigs.
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  • And he was so hungry, he began to eat the food he was
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  • serving to the pigs. And he realized how good he had it back
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  • home, so he decided to crawl back to his father, saying to
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  • himself maybe my father will take me on as a servant.
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  • Certainly, I'm not worthy to be his son anymore.
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  • So he-- now this little branch makes a little long trip home.
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  • [MAKES SQUEAKING NOISES] This is the branch. This is
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  • how he crawls.[MAKES SQUEAKING NOISES] Can you see
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  • it? It's kind of like an inch worm. [MAKES SQUEAKING NOISES]
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  • And he's thinking, hanging his head, my father's never going to
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  • love me again. And his father, seeing him a long way off, he
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  • ran to his son. The Bible says that he scooped this little branch
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  • up into his arms and rushed it back to the greenhouse,
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  • connected it back to the vine, fired up the misters, got shots of
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  • chlorophyll for everybody in the whole place.
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  • The Bible says he struck up the music. What kind of music?
  • 00:05:20.180 --> 00:05:23.030
  • Classical music-- that's what plants like to listen to. And now,
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  • everybody's happy because the prodigal branch had come
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  • home. And that's what your father does when you make the
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  • mistake of trading what should be an exclusive relationship,
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  • and you get tempted by other vines.
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  • We read early in the passage about how he takes away a
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  • branch that's not bearing fruit, a branch that's connected to him
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  • but just isn't bearing fruit. Why? Maybe it connected itself to
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  • another vine, looking to other things.
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  • And I love that the word "takes away" in the Greek is the word
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  • airo, A-I-R-O. If a branch isn't doing good, he takes it away,
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  • and the definition of that word is so life giving. It says this-- it
  • 00:06:03.080 --> 00:06:08.020
  • means to take up, to lift up from the ground, or lift with the intent to carry.
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  • Are you weak? Do you feel like you're not producing fruit?
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  • God's heart for you is to pick you up, to lift you up, to take you
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  • up with the intention to carry you. No one's going to pluck you
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  • from your Father's hands. He wants to restore you to health,
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  • restore you to wellness.
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  • Did you barely get in here today? Are you making so many
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  • mistakes, you're like, man, I don't even know where to begin?
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  • God wants to pick you up and lift you up and scoop you up and
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  • bring you back tenderly to the vine so you can get back to
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  • growing fruit. But there needs to be, in your mind, this mentality
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  • that says I want to have an exclusive relationship with Him, not
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  • one of robotic compliance, but life giving romance, of love for my Father.
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  • That's kind of a weird thing to describe. Romance? A little-- I don't know.
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  • Well, hold on a second. Being a part of the church is compared
  • 00:06:58.250 --> 00:07:01.270
  • to being the bride of Christ, and what is a name for someone
  • 00:07:01.290 --> 00:07:05.220
  • who tends vines professionally? A husbandman. So there is so
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  • many parallels to how we should approach a healthy marriage,
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  • to how we should think about our relationship with God. Not a
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  • robotic compliance, but a life giving romance.
  • 00:07:16.030 --> 00:07:19.250
  • And then secondly, that exclusivity, that commitment to Him,
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  • and to only Him will we be loyal. There's a third, and it's this--
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  • continuous. Our relationship with Him should be continuous.
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  • That's the opposite of sporadic. That's the opposite of on
  • 00:07:32.260 --> 00:07:36.290
  • again, off again. That's the opposite of here and there, but just
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  • a continuous connection.
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  • We should fight to foster continuous connection. Why?
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  • Because if our connection to God gets weak, we will be, too.
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  • I think about how it's so easy to wear out phone cords.
  • 00:07:51.220 --> 00:07:57.290
  • Anybody with me? What is it with these phone cords and their
  • 00:07:58.010 --> 00:08:01.050
  • constant breaking? And they seem like they go through this
  • 00:08:01.070 --> 00:08:03.170
  • phase where they sometimes work before they stop working.
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  • Anybody? Anybody? No? It's just me?
  • 00:08:07.120 --> 00:08:09.210
  • So you plug it in, and nothing. You're looking for the lightning
  • 00:08:09.230 --> 00:08:13.170
  • bolt, aren't you? You're looking for that-- nothing-- and that little
  • 00:08:13.190 --> 00:08:15.120
  • sound. Beep. You know?
  • 00:08:15.140 --> 00:08:16.290
  • And so you turn it over, and oh, hey, and then it's like, you fool
  • 00:08:17.010 --> 00:08:20.140
  • yourself into thinking, oh, it's fine. It was just a fluke. And you'll
  • 00:08:20.160 --> 00:08:22.170
  • go a couple days, and you'll have to-- anybody with me?
  • 00:08:22.190 --> 00:08:24.100
  • You almost get into wrecks because you're flipping it over,
  • 00:08:24.120 --> 00:08:26.190
  • blowing on it, maybe lick- don't lick it. That's a mistake. I made that mistake.
  • 00:08:26.210 --> 00:08:30.180
  • Cleaning off the connection, and then you finally know it's time
  • 00:08:30.200 --> 00:08:36.120
  • to get rid of it when you plug it in and it's like bing-ah, bing-ah,
  • 00:08:36.140 --> 00:08:38.110
  • bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah. Anybody with me
  • 00:08:38.130 --> 00:08:40.150
  • on that? Bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah, bing-ah?
  • 00:08:40.170 --> 00:08:41.270
  • You're like, OK, you are gone. You are the weakest link,
  • 00:08:41.290 --> 00:08:43.290
  • goodbye. Because it's not charging your phone because
  • 00:08:44.010 --> 00:08:47.070
  • there's not a continuous connection. There has to be a steady
  • 00:08:47.090 --> 00:08:50.140
  • continuous connection if that power is going to get through.
  • 00:08:50.160 --> 00:08:53.170
  • A branch is merely a hollow tube. A branch is merely a hollow
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  • tube. It's PVC pipe, and we cannot have the life of God flowing
  • 00:08:58.110 --> 00:09:02.280
  • through us if we're not connected continuously.
  • 00:09:03.000 --> 00:09:05.170
  • So if you keep breaking it off, bringing it on, breaking it off, and
  • 00:09:05.190 --> 00:09:08.060
  • it's just intermittently, I read the Bible here and there, I pray
  • 00:09:08.080 --> 00:09:12.240
  • here and there-- if there's a sporadic-- sometimes, not so often,
  • 00:09:12.260 --> 00:09:18.130
  • every once in a while. If that characterizes your relationship
  • 00:09:18.150 --> 00:09:21.220
  • with God, he can't get the power to you that He wants to. Your
  • 00:09:21.240 --> 00:09:25.280
  • relationship needs to be continuous.
  • 00:09:26.000 --> 00:09:27.120
  • So here's the goal. The goal is to go as many days as we can
  • 00:09:27.140 --> 00:09:31.190
  • without interrupting the connection. As many days as you can
  • 00:09:31.210 --> 00:09:36.230
  • in a row. How many days do you think you could stack together
  • 00:09:36.250 --> 00:09:39.110
  • where you-- each of those days have at least some point in the
  • 00:09:39.130 --> 00:09:43.000
  • day where you get quiet and tell God something, where you
  • 00:09:43.020 --> 00:09:46.250
  • get quiet and let God tell you something.
  • 00:09:46.270 --> 00:09:50.050
  • We overcomplicate the Bible study, making it feel like, oh, I
  • 00:09:50.070 --> 00:09:53.280
  • don't know how to do that on my own. But it's just, at the end of
  • 00:09:54.000 --> 00:09:57.120
  • the day, you telling God something, and then you let God tell
  • 00:09:57.140 --> 00:10:00.140
  • you something. How hard is it to get on YouTube, throw one
  • 00:10:00.160 --> 00:10:03.290
  • good worship song on, to read a verse, to listen to God tell you
  • 00:10:04.010 --> 00:10:09.010
  • something from scripture, and then just to tell him, God, stuff's
  • 00:10:09.030 --> 00:10:11.250
  • hard? Marriage is hard. God, works hard.
  • 00:10:11.270 --> 00:10:16.010
  • And if it's hard for you to pray because you don't really know
  • 00:10:16.030 --> 00:10:19.060
  • what to do-- I get on my knees, and-- well, maybe mix it up and
  • 00:10:19.080 --> 00:10:22.030
  • get up and take a walk. If every time you took your wife on a
  • 00:10:22.050 --> 00:10:25.190
  • date night, you took to the exact same restaurant and wore the
  • 00:10:25.210 --> 00:10:28.200
  • exact same thing and ordered the exact same thing, you'd
  • 00:10:28.220 --> 00:10:32.180
  • have a weird relationship. Mix it up. Come on, Casanova. You
  • 00:10:32.200 --> 00:10:37.270
  • know what I'm saying?
  • 00:10:37.290 --> 00:10:39.190
  • I tried something different recently. On our date night, I ahead
  • 00:10:39.210 --> 00:10:43.010
  • of time wrote down some of my favorite things about my wife,
  • 00:10:43.030 --> 00:10:45.150
  • and brought this journal to the table. And halfway through just
  • 00:10:45.170 --> 00:10:48.240
  • say, hey, I wanted to read some things I love about you. I had
  • 00:10:48.260 --> 00:10:51.080
  • never done that before. It was just-- why? I wanted to mix it up.
  • 00:10:51.100 --> 00:10:53.280
  • And she cried. It was awesome. In an Italian restaurant in
  • 00:10:54.000 --> 00:10:58.000
  • Manhattan, she's [FAKE CRYING]. I'm like--
  • 00:10:58.020 --> 00:11:00.060
  • Just mix up your relationship with God. Take a walk next time
  • 00:11:00.080 --> 00:11:06.110
  • you pray. If you always pray walking, right down your prayer.
  • 00:11:06.130 --> 00:11:09.220
  • Mix it up, but keep that continuous connection.
  • 00:11:09.240 --> 00:11:12.230
  • There's this great YouVersion app. It's for free. Life.church
  • 00:11:12.250 --> 00:11:16.230
  • pastor Craig and Amy Groeschel have given it away to the
  • 00:11:16.250 --> 00:11:19.130
  • world-- 300 million downloads. They've given away the Bible to
  • 00:11:19.150 --> 00:11:22.080
  • 300 million people.
  • 00:11:22.100 --> 00:11:23.230
  • Unreal, right? Just the best people that there are. I get choked
  • 00:11:23.250 --> 00:11:29.000
  • up if I talk about how much I love them.
  • 00:11:29.020 --> 00:11:30.230
  • But that app has this cool feature, if you're logged into it, where
  • 00:11:30.250 --> 00:11:34.150
  • it tells you, on the home screen, how many days in a row
  • 00:11:34.170 --> 00:11:36.280
  • you've opened the app. And I just would encourage you,
  • 00:11:37.000 --> 00:11:39.150
  • challenge you, go as many days as you can where you don't
  • 00:11:39.170 --> 00:11:42.150
  • interrupt the flow of power to your life in prayer. How about this
  • 00:11:42.170 --> 00:11:46.150
  • one? How many weeks in a row could you stack it up where
  • 00:11:46.170 --> 00:11:48.290
  • you don't miss gathering together with God's people for
  • 00:11:49.010 --> 00:11:51.050
  • corporate worship, where we gather together, and we sing our guts out together.
  • 00:11:51.070 --> 00:11:54.250
  • And I get to hear you sing badly, and you get to hear me sing
  • 00:11:54.270 --> 00:11:57.010
  • badly. But fortunately, the people who sing good is louder than
  • 00:11:57.030 --> 00:11:59.110
  • all of us. You know what I'm saying? And we can just be like,
  • 00:11:59.130 --> 00:12:01.110
  • I'm a mess, but I love you.
  • 00:12:01.130 --> 00:12:03.070
  • And think of your little arms as little branches going, I'm
  • 00:12:03.090 --> 00:12:05.170
  • connected to you. I love you. I need you. I want you.
  • 00:12:05.190 --> 00:12:09.140
  • I'm desperate for you. I can't do anything without-- that's
  • 00:12:09.160 --> 00:12:12.150
  • worship. Worship is just you stretching your branches out to
  • 00:12:12.170 --> 00:12:16.020
  • the vine, so he can flow his life through you.
  • 00:12:16.040 --> 00:12:18.250
  • What about throughout the day-- little prayers here,little
  • 00:12:18.270 --> 00:12:22.140
  • thoughts there? Let's make it our goal to never forget about
  • 00:12:22.160 --> 00:12:26.060
  • him. You ever remember that God's there? And you're like, oh,
  • 00:12:26.080 --> 00:12:29.160
  • what have I just-- you take a mental inventory of the last couple
  • 00:12:29.180 --> 00:12:32.010
  • of things you did. You're like, that's the train wreck, and that's intimidating.
  • 00:12:32.030 --> 00:12:35.120
  • But if we're constant remembering God's always with you-- you
  • 00:12:35.140 --> 00:12:37.230
  • didn't leave Him at church. You didn't leave Him where you left
  • 00:12:37.250 --> 00:12:40.040
  • your journal and your Bible, and you had your time with Him. He's always with you.
  • 00:12:40.060 --> 00:12:43.130
  • So if you walk around going God's in me, God's with me, all the
  • 00:12:43.150 --> 00:12:46.060
  • time, that changes how you talk to people. That changes how
  • 00:12:46.080 --> 00:12:48.200
  • you spend money. That changes how you dream. That
  • 00:12:48.220 --> 00:12:50.170
  • changes how you plan. How long can we go where we never
  • 00:12:50.190 --> 00:12:53.020
  • have to remember God's there because we're always
  • 00:12:53.040 --> 00:12:55.270
  • remembering he's closer to us than our skin-- not with a
  • 00:12:55.290 --> 00:12:59.080
  • scowl-- with a smile, wanting to lift us up, wanting to carry us
  • 00:12:59.100 --> 00:13:02.200
  • up, and wanting to grow delicious fruit through us.
  • 00:13:02.220 --> 00:13:05.210
  • Let me tell you something if your relationship with God is hit
  • 00:13:05.230 --> 00:13:09.250
  • and miss, and Easter and Christmas, and here and there, and
  • 00:13:09.270 --> 00:13:13.180
  • just every once in a while, you'll never going to-- you're never
  • 00:13:13.200 --> 00:13:16.010
  • going to grow any of these. That branch has to be connected
  • 00:13:16.030 --> 00:13:20.230
  • continuously. It's growing, and doesn't that just make you want
  • 00:13:20.250 --> 00:13:24.280
  • to eat grapes? The sales of grapes in our city's just [MAKING ROCKET ENGINE NOISE]
  • 00:13:25.000 --> 00:13:29.170
  • this week because everyone's like, I want grapes.
  • 00:13:29.190 --> 00:13:31.220
  • I just want-- you can't walk by a bowl of grapes and not eat
  • 00:13:31.240 --> 00:13:34.280
  • them. But if they're soggy, pass. Hard pass.
  • 00:13:35.000 --> 00:13:38.080
  • I need crisp grapes. I need them to be almost like biting into an
  • 00:13:38.100 --> 00:13:40.210
  • apple. Who's with me on the crunchy grapes, no seeds, very
  • 00:13:40.230 --> 00:13:45.090
  • crunchy? That's my jam.
  • 00:13:45.110 --> 00:13:46.250
  • All right, so if we were going-- if we're going to grow those, we
  • 00:13:46.270 --> 00:13:50.060
  • have to be continuous. We have to be exclusive. And there has
  • 00:13:50.080 --> 00:13:53.280
  • to be organic. Amen?
  • 00:13:54.000 --> 00:13:56.130
  • I love it because that leads to our last thing that we learn about
  • 00:13:56.150 --> 00:14:00.070
  • our relationship to the vine, and that is, He intends for us to be
  • 00:14:00.090 --> 00:14:02.240
  • productive. Productive-- productive meaning he wants to
  • 00:14:02.260 --> 00:14:07.100
  • produce fruit through us. There's something He wants to do as
  • 00:14:07.120 --> 00:14:11.090
  • we connect to Him, and this then is a vital distinction to make
  • 00:14:11.110 --> 00:14:15.070
  • on how many days can you go without missing? How many
  • 00:14:15.090 --> 00:14:18.200
  • weeks can you go without missing church? How many weeks
  • 00:14:18.220 --> 00:14:21.030
  • can you go without not being in a small group?
  • 00:14:21.050 --> 00:14:22.190
  • Now, we have to actually qualify it because this then is the test.
  • 00:14:22.210 --> 00:14:26.040
  • The fruit is the test. Are we producing fruit?
  • 00:14:26.060 --> 00:14:29.280
  • Let me tell you something-- there's people who never miss a
  • 00:14:30.000 --> 00:14:33.010
  • Sunday and are cheating on their wives all week long. There's
  • 00:14:33.030 --> 00:14:36.020
  • people who never miss a day's devotions and whose lives are
  • 00:14:36.040 --> 00:14:39.060
  • filled with pornography and hatred. There's people who are
  • 00:14:39.080 --> 00:14:42.210
  • downloading John Piper and Beth Moore sermons like crazy,
  • 00:14:42.230 --> 00:14:46.070
  • and they are a complete and total jerk at work.
  • 00:14:46.090 --> 00:14:48.170
  • So the test isn't just do I take in? It's, is it producing a life
  • 00:14:48.190 --> 00:14:54.280
  • through me? That's how you test the organic, exclusive,
  • 00:14:55.000 --> 00:14:59.080
  • continuous relationship. Is it producing? Producing what exactly?
  • 00:14:59.100 --> 00:15:03.120
  • The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering,
  • 00:15:03.140 --> 00:15:08.210
  • kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
  • 00:15:08.230 --> 00:15:12.100
  • Against such, there's no law. So now, we get to go, OK, am I
  • 00:15:12.120 --> 00:15:16.250
  • just hearing God's word and deceiving myself? Or as I read the
  • 00:15:16.270 --> 00:15:21.000
  • word, as I attend church, as I get into a small group, am I
  • 00:15:21.020 --> 00:15:23.240
  • actually applying it in my life? Am I allowing Him to produce
  • 00:15:23.260 --> 00:15:27.230
  • that life through me?
  • 00:15:27.250 --> 00:15:29.040
  • I've been asked before, how much should I read when I have
  • 00:15:29.060 --> 00:15:31.140
  • my devotions? And I like how a friend of mine answered that.
  • 00:15:31.160 --> 00:15:34.260
  • He said, you should read until something convicts you, then
  • 00:15:34.280 --> 00:15:37.270
  • immediately close your Bible, pray about it, and then go do
  • 00:15:37.290 --> 00:15:40.230
  • something about it. Because the moment He tells you
  • 00:15:40.250 --> 00:15:44.160
  • something, that's-- then you've read all you need to read.
  • 00:15:44.180 --> 00:15:47.030
  • Sometimes, it might be a paragraph. Sometimes, it might be a
  • 00:15:47.050 --> 00:15:50.160
  • chapter. For me, often, it's a sentence. I've had times where it's
  • 00:15:50.180 --> 00:15:53.250
  • literally a word. I'm like, ah, why'd you have to go there? Fine.
  • 00:15:53.270 --> 00:16:00.140
  • Over the last 4 years Levi Lusko has written 3 best selling
  • 00:16:00.160 --> 00:16:04.130
  • books.Through The Eyes of a Lion, Swipe Right and I Declare War.
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  • Each of these books targets different yet important topics that
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  • will help you live the life of freedom and power that God has planned for you.
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  • Through The Eyes of a Lion is all about facing impossible pain
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  • and finding incredible power through it.
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  • Swipe Right exposes the Life and Death Power of Sex and
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  • Romance. It will equip you to train today for the relationship
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  • you want tomorrow.
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  • I Declare War will help you get out of your own way by giving
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  • you the four keys you need to win the battle with yourself.
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  • You know what I'm-- oh, no, you didn't. You know what I'm
  • 00:16:45.010 --> 00:16:48.160
  • saying? Ah, I was just hoping for you to just encourage me.
  • 00:16:48.180 --> 00:16:51.220
  • You actually want me to be nice to people. That-- that's
  • 00:16:51.240 --> 00:16:54.200
  • different than what I was expecting.
  • 00:16:54.220 --> 00:16:56.200
  • Can I just know things about you? He says, no, I want to
  • 00:16:56.220 --> 00:16:59.260
  • produce my life through you. I want your life to be something--
  • 00:16:59.280 --> 00:17:03.120
  • as people come around, I want the reaction to be how you felt
  • 00:17:03.140 --> 00:17:06.010
  • seeing those grapes. That's beautiful. That's wonderful.
  • 00:17:06.030 --> 00:17:10.070
  • But not just fruit of the spirit-- He wants to also produce your
  • 00:17:10.090 --> 00:17:13.150
  • unique fruit. Did you know that the different regions of grapes
  • 00:17:13.170 --> 00:17:18.040
  • produce different varieties of wine? It's fascinating. And where
  • 00:17:18.060 --> 00:17:22.200
  • the vine comes from impacts the flavor, just as much the soil in which it's grown.
  • 00:17:22.220 --> 00:17:27.280
  • Most of the wine producing vines in America have actually
  • 00:17:28.000 --> 00:17:31.130
  • been brought over from Europe. They're not American vines.
  • 00:17:31.150 --> 00:17:34.090
  • They were bringing vines over. All these ships coming over--
  • 00:17:34.110 --> 00:17:37.020
  • they're like, what's in your suitcase? From the Mayflower-- it's
  • 00:17:37.040 --> 00:17:39.210
  • like, just vines.
  • 00:17:39.230 --> 00:17:41.030
  • They could never do that today. You wouldn't get through
  • 00:17:41.050 --> 00:17:42.220
  • customs. What do you have in your suitcase? Nothing, just vines.
  • 00:17:42.240 --> 00:17:45.210
  • But they have vines here that are growing different varietals of
  • 00:17:45.230 --> 00:17:49.200
  • wine with different bouquet, and I just want to understand,
  • 00:17:49.220 --> 00:17:53.090
  • some of you are Zinfandel. Some of you are pinot. Some of
  • 00:17:53.110 --> 00:17:55.290
  • you are cav. Some of you, you're a merlot. Meaning there's
  • 00:17:56.010 --> 00:17:58.200
  • different things God's going to bring out in you He didn't put inside me.
  • 00:17:58.220 --> 00:18:02.090
  • I just want you to know you're fearfully and wonderfully made,
  • 00:18:02.110 --> 00:18:05.200
  • and the way God's going to produce life in you, and the
  • 00:18:05.220 --> 00:18:08.030
  • inventions in you, and the dreams in you, and the story in you,
  • 00:18:08.050 --> 00:18:11.150
  • and the song in you, and the poem in you, and the business in you
  • 00:18:11.170 --> 00:18:14.280
  • and the company in you. What He's put in you is different and just know this
  • 00:18:15.000 --> 00:18:18.290
  • your church isn't just interested in you being people who come
  • 00:18:19.010 --> 00:18:22.020
  • and sing sings and leave,we believe in what you're going to do out in the world
  • 00:18:22.040 --> 00:18:25.160
  • that's gonna change the world. We believe in the medical breakthrough, science breakthrough
  • 00:18:25.180 --> 00:18:29.240
  • We believe in the things you're going to
  • 00:18:29.260 --> 00:18:31.100
  • build, the cars you're going to repair, the innovations, and the
  • 00:18:31.120 --> 00:18:34.080
  • way you're going to use what He put in you.
  • 00:18:34.100 --> 00:18:37.020
  • As you connect to the vine, He's going to give you dreams and
  • 00:18:37.040 --> 00:18:39.280
  • ideas and thoughts and plans and businesses, and we can't
  • 00:18:40.000 --> 00:18:43.260
  • wait to see what different circumstances are going to bring
  • 00:18:43.280 --> 00:18:47.250
  • about the beautiful fruit in your life that's going to be a blessing
  • 00:18:47.270 --> 00:18:52.250
  • to people all over this world. But we got to keep the life fresh.
  • 00:18:52.270 --> 00:18:58.060
  • So we should call it Fresh Life, and we did. It's got to be
  • 00:18:58.080 --> 00:19:02.230
  • organic. There's got to be a freshness to the life in us in order
  • 00:19:02.250 --> 00:19:06.260
  • for us to be productive.
  • 00:19:06.280 --> 00:19:08.220
  • So what have we learned today? We learned that we, the
  • 00:19:08.240 --> 00:19:11.210
  • people, should be focusing on a more perfect union because to
  • 00:19:11.230 --> 00:19:15.230
  • the degree that our connection to God is weak, we will be, too.
  • 00:19:15.250 --> 00:19:19.210
  • So we should be striving for organic, continuous, exclusive
  • 00:19:19.230 --> 00:19:24.190
  • productivity in our connection to the vine. But none of it's
  • 00:19:24.210 --> 00:19:30.030
  • possible without pruning. None of it's possible without the pruning shears.
  • 00:19:30.050 --> 00:19:37.000
  • Jesus said the reward for a vine that bears fruit is pruning. Any
  • 00:19:37.020 --> 00:19:42.150
  • branch that bears fruit, He prunes. In God's economy, get this,
  • 00:19:42.170 --> 00:19:47.200
  • pruning is a reward.
  • 00:19:47.220 --> 00:19:50.230
  • You're like, that's sick. That's sick because I've seen pruning.
  • 00:19:50.250 --> 00:19:57.040
  • Yeah, it's terrible. Pruning's terrible.
  • 00:19:57.060 --> 00:19:59.130
  • It's cutting-- listen, first of all, it's cutting things back.
  • 00:19:59.150 --> 00:20:04.030
  • secondly-- so cutting things back. You can jot that down. It's
  • 00:20:04.050 --> 00:20:06.220
  • going to go up right here. Cutting things back.
  • 00:20:06.240 --> 00:20:08.250
  • Secondly, it's cutting things off. Some things in your life need to
  • 00:20:08.270 --> 00:20:13.080
  • be cut back, and other things in your life need to be cut off.
  • 00:20:13.100 --> 00:20:17.240
  • Why? The expert husbandmen, as he approaches the vine,
  • 00:20:17.260 --> 00:20:22.150
  • knows that there are things that are going to grow on that vine
  • 00:20:22.170 --> 00:20:25.080
  • that need to be cut off-- bugs, diseased branches, things that
  • 00:20:25.100 --> 00:20:31.010
  • are called suckers, which is unruly growth with no purpose.
  • 00:20:31.030 --> 00:20:35.010
  • This thing's going to grow huge. Oh, look at me! It's amazing!
  • 00:20:35.030 --> 00:20:38.130
  • And he's like, that is stealing sap from the flower bud.
  • 00:20:38.150 --> 00:20:42.120
  • The ultimate mechanism of pruning is to steer sap to where it
  • 00:20:42.140 --> 00:20:47.270
  • needs to go. That vine can only produce so much sap, and He
  • 00:20:47.290 --> 00:20:51.080
  • wants to expertly guide it and direct it exactly into what's going
  • 00:20:51.100 --> 00:20:55.110
  • to produce the grapes. So I'm going to cut off anything that
  • 00:20:55.130 --> 00:20:58.260
  • would get big and unruly, but isn't producing fruit.
  • 00:20:58.280 --> 00:21:01.270
  • So some things in your life need to be cut off, and other things
  • 00:21:01.290 --> 00:21:05.260
  • in your life merely need to be cut back. The good branches that
  • 00:21:05.280 --> 00:21:09.060
  • produce the buds can also get little flowers on them. And it's
  • 00:21:09.080 --> 00:21:13.010
  • pretty, and it's wonderful, but the producing of that flower is
  • 00:21:13.030 --> 00:21:17.220
  • actually essence of life that should be going into that bud.
  • 00:21:17.240 --> 00:21:20.220
  • So the pruner doesn't just use the shears. He also uses his
  • 00:21:20.240 --> 00:21:23.280
  • fingers. He does something called pinching. He'll pinch off stuff.
  • 00:21:24.000 --> 00:21:27.270
  • He's like, hey, good job, little branch, and we're like, that's so
  • 00:21:27.290 --> 00:21:30.070
  • mean. I worked hard on that flower. He's like, yeah, but it's not
  • 00:21:30.090 --> 00:21:32.220
  • actually going to what I created you to do.
  • 00:21:32.240 --> 00:21:34.270
  • You know that good is the enemy is of the best, right? And if
  • 00:21:34.290 --> 00:21:38.130
  • you say yes to too many things, you won't be able to say yes to
  • 00:21:38.150 --> 00:21:40.250
  • the ultimate things. It's why one of our values as a church-- we
  • 00:21:40.270 --> 00:21:44.040
  • have core values, and one of them is we do more by doing
  • 00:21:44.060 --> 00:21:46.290
  • less. We focus on a few things, so we can do them really well,
  • 00:21:47.010 --> 00:21:50.150
  • the things God's called us to do, and not be doing all sorts of
  • 00:21:50.170 --> 00:21:53.080
  • things poorly. So we have to employ elimination and
  • 00:21:53.100 --> 00:21:57.290
  • concentration to focus in on what God's called us to do.
  • 00:21:58.010 --> 00:22:01.160
  • So what's the Lord trying to cut off in your life? Things that are
  • 00:22:01.180 --> 00:22:06.030
  • never going to be good for you, never going to take you to
  • 00:22:06.050 --> 00:22:10.040
  • where he wants to go. A good thing to maybe discuss at the
  • 00:22:10.060 --> 00:22:13.200
  • dinner table or with your small group this week would be, what
  • 00:22:13.220 --> 00:22:16.110
  • needs to be cut off and what merely needs to be cut back?
  • 00:22:16.130 --> 00:22:20.020
  • That is to say, I'm not cutting this branch off. This is a good
  • 00:22:20.040 --> 00:22:22.180
  • one. But something on it needs to be trimmed back. This is
  • 00:22:22.200 --> 00:22:26.210
  • stuff that's good, but we need to moderate it a little bit. It's a
  • 00:22:26.230 --> 00:22:30.040
  • little bit unruly.
  • 00:22:30.060 --> 00:22:31.250
  • Yeah, watching TV's great. Seven hours of TV a day? Maybe a little bit less.
  • 00:22:31.270 --> 00:22:36.030
  • I'm really trying to focus my screen time and get it down. I have
  • 00:22:36.050 --> 00:22:38.270
  • an app now that tracks how much time I spend on all my
  • 00:22:38.290 --> 00:22:41.260
  • different apps and my total screen time on my phone, and I'm
  • 00:22:41.280 --> 00:22:44.290
  • really going to try and start focusing in the coming days--
  • 00:22:45.010 --> 00:22:48.060
  • notice how much room I'm giving myself? I'm really going to,
  • 00:22:48.080 --> 00:22:51.210
  • next week, going to be trying to start focusing on trimming back
  • 00:22:51.230 --> 00:22:56.260
  • these things. I'm not to cut it off, but that's an area where I want
  • 00:22:56.280 --> 00:23:00.060
  • to see it trimmed back.
  • 00:23:00.080 --> 00:23:02.010
  • His job is to prune. Your job is to abide. His job is to prune.
  • 00:23:02.030 --> 00:23:12.040
  • That is to say, His word and the leadership in your life-- if
  • 00:23:12.060 --> 00:23:15.010
  • you're not under leadership, you're missing out.What athlete
  • 00:23:15.030 --> 00:23:17.150
  • can go to the highest levels without coaching?
  • 00:23:17.170 --> 00:23:19.110
  • If you're not on one of our impact teams, you don't have
  • 00:23:19.130 --> 00:23:21.250
  • someone coaching you in that way. If you're not under the
  • 00:23:21.270 --> 00:23:24.220
  • authority of your campus pastor and embracing that leadership,
  • 00:23:24.240 --> 00:23:27.260
  • if you're not in a small group, we should all be craving-- I am so
  • 00:23:27.280 --> 00:23:31.030
  • grateful for the voices in my life coaching me. If you're not
  • 00:23:31.050 --> 00:23:33.280
  • responding to the way God works through authority and
  • 00:23:34.000 --> 00:23:36.080
  • through His word and through His spirit to prune, then you're
  • 00:23:36.100 --> 00:23:40.030
  • not going to get to where you want to go.
  • 00:23:40.050 --> 00:23:41.150
  • But your job-- so His job's the pruning, and you have to
  • 00:23:41.170 --> 00:23:43.190
  • respond to that well. Your job is to abide. It's all over the text.
  • 00:23:43.210 --> 00:23:47.140
  • Eight times, he uses the word abide in just the first opening
  • 00:23:47.160 --> 00:23:51.280
  • verses. One example is where it shows up twice in one verse.
  • 00:23:52.000 --> 00:23:54.150
  • He says abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear
  • 00:23:54.170 --> 00:23:57.250
  • fruit unless it abides in the vine.
  • 00:23:57.270 --> 00:23:59.140
  • You're like, what does it mean to abide? Simply put, it means
  • 00:23:59.160 --> 00:24:02.040
  • stay put. Park it here, bubba. I like the message translation of
  • 00:24:02.060 --> 00:24:06.160
  • that verse, where it's put this way-- live in me. Make your home
  • 00:24:06.180 --> 00:24:10.100
  • in me just as I do in you.
  • 00:24:10.120 --> 00:24:12.190
  • Is Jesus your home? Is Jesus where you stay put? And that
  • 00:24:12.210 --> 00:24:18.060
  • should be our focus. Write that down on the top of your to-do
  • 00:24:18.080 --> 00:24:21.070
  • list tomorrow-- abide.
  • 00:24:21.090 --> 00:24:23.180
  • Abide in Jesus. Remain in him. But disclaimer-- it's the hardest
  • 00:24:23.200 --> 00:24:28.190
  • to abide when you're being pruned. Those are the times-- man,
  • 00:24:28.210 --> 00:24:35.200
  • when God starts putting His finger on different areas of your
  • 00:24:35.220 --> 00:24:38.040
  • life, that's when you're going to feel like bolting because you
  • 00:24:38.060 --> 00:24:41.020
  • don't like the sensation and feeling of Him cutting things back
  • 00:24:41.040 --> 00:24:44.050
  • that you wanted to stay, Him cutting things off that you're
  • 00:24:44.070 --> 00:24:47.070
  • content leaving there.
  • 00:24:47.090 --> 00:24:49.120
  • Because it doesn't feel good to be pruned. None of us like it.
  • 00:24:49.140 --> 00:24:52.250
  • Look at how great a vine looks when it's bushy, beautiful,and
  • 00:24:52.270 --> 00:24:57.000
  • vibrant. This is right after harvest. This is a shot from Tuscany.
  • 00:24:57.020 --> 00:24:59.220
  • Beautiful, I mean look at all these branches like, yay, look at
  • 00:24:59.240 --> 00:25:03.190
  • me! Look what I did! But you can't go into winter like that. Once
  • 00:25:03.210 --> 00:25:08.160
  • the grapes are cut, you no longer need those branches to
  • 00:25:08.180 --> 00:25:11.170
  • provide shade. You no longer need all those leaves to make all the chlorophyll.
  • 00:25:11.190 --> 00:25:15.190
  • There's nothing happening, so the husbandman knows that
  • 00:25:15.210 --> 00:25:19.110
  • vine needs to hunker down for a bit. So all those big old
  • 00:25:19.130 --> 00:25:22.160
  • branches that are like, how do you like me now, started from
  • 00:25:22.180 --> 00:25:25.170
  • the bottom, now we're here-- what does he do? Look at this next shot. Hello.
  • 00:25:25.190 --> 00:25:29.170
  • OK, whoa, I don't want anybody to see me like this. I'll lose all
  • 00:25:29.190 --> 00:25:36.010
  • my street cred. All my hair's gone. All my life's gone.
  • 00:25:36.030 --> 00:25:41.000
  • This little-- these little branches are like, this is the worst. I don't
  • 00:25:41.020 --> 00:25:43.240
  • like this at all. And that's when the branches are-- that's when
  • 00:25:43.260 --> 00:25:49.120
  • we, as the branches, are most tempted to stop staying put
  • 00:25:49.140 --> 00:25:52.020
  • because God tried to touch something in our life that was
  • 00:25:52.040 --> 00:25:55.020
  • keeping us that was going to keep us back.
  • 00:25:55.040 --> 00:25:57.120
  • But we didn't like how it felt, so we're going to go find a different
  • 00:25:57.140 --> 00:26:00.210
  • vine now that will let us do what we want to do. We're going to
  • 00:26:00.230 --> 00:26:02.280
  • find a different vine that'll let us be. For I'm going to go find
  • 00:26:03.000 --> 00:26:05.060
  • myself. I'm going to live my-- I'm going to disconnect from this vine.
  • 00:26:05.080 --> 00:26:08.240
  • It's the most difficult to abide when you're being pruned. So here's
  • 00:26:08.260 --> 00:26:13.210
  • what you gotta do-- when you feel the steel, cling to the
  • 00:26:13.230 --> 00:26:17.010
  • vine. When you feel his steel coming out, just tell yourself, I'm
  • 00:26:17.030 --> 00:26:20.190
  • staying put. I'm staying put.
  • 00:26:20.210 --> 00:26:22.100
  • He knows what he's doing. What am I? I'm a little twig.
  • 00:26:22.120 --> 00:26:25.070
  • What am I? I'm just a conduit. What am I? I'm just a PVC pipe.
  • 00:26:25.090 --> 00:26:28.180
  • He's got the life. I want it to flow through me. So if he cuts
  • 00:26:28.200 --> 00:26:31.090
  • something back, fine. He knows better than I do.
  • 00:26:31.110 --> 00:26:33.230
  • Our mentality should be what the author of Hebrews said, in
  • 00:26:33.250 --> 00:26:36.230
  • Hebrews chapter 12 verse 1. Let us strip off everything that
  • 00:26:36.250 --> 00:26:40.000
  • hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us
  • 00:26:40.020 --> 00:26:43.160
  • run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed
  • 00:26:43.180 --> 00:26:47.150
  • on Jesus.
  • 00:26:47.170 --> 00:26:48.130