At the center of all that is living is the One who created and gives all there is to life. It is a gift of grace from our Creator to be given a life to live. It is a gift of grace to be given a new life as follower of Christ; forgiven and free from our sin as we are redeemed and sanctified as we live out our days. Most of all, it is an indescribable gift of grace to be given life eternal. All of life from beginning unto eternity comes from the “Giver of Life” and we should live out our lives in gratitude and thanks.
Christ desires that we live out our lives drawing from Him as the source of all substance and life. He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:1-11). We live as the body of Christ, alive in the life He gives us in His saving and sanctifying us. It is His love that we are drawing our life from and it is His love that flows through us into the lives of others. This is the most important part of our living as the branches of the vine. This happens as we love others and the world around us. It is what He desires most of all and it is what He states will be the defining mark of His Body, the Church. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
We cannot fake this love, nor can we try by our best intentions to love this way. Our loving has to come from our dying to our selfish ways and making everything we do in our fellowship about following and loving our Lord. This means in our personal life and in our life together as a part of the “Body of Christ,” which is His church around the world. If we love Christ above all else, it will change our lives and our world.
As Christ changes our lives, we should be excited to give witness to the power that has changed us. This translates into the sharing of the Christ that is our Lord with our friends and family and the world around us. Our witnessing to what He has done in our lives will then be natural and flow out of the work of the Holy Spirit in making us new. This happens as we die to ourselves and let Christ flow into us as His branches. May we remember His great love for us in forgiving all of our sins and may we let His love flow in and out of us as we love those around us with His love. May we be true branches on the true Vine of all life.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:12-17)