…I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich… and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Revelation 3:14-22 Far too often we desire to buy what the world is selling not out of function, purpose or necessity but rather for its image which is like sweet candy to the eyes. Yet once eaten it is simply gone. However, the desire for the free Word of God, graciously given is like sweet candy to the heart, and far too often we are willing to sell or trade it for something the world wants us to pay for. Ours is a journey of proper perspectives. Let not the short-lived desire of the eyes devour the eternal desire of the heart. For Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away (Matthew 24:32-44).
“Who do the crowds say that I am?” Luke 9:18-27 Ever wonder what other people are thinking about you? It’s not unusual. We do it all the time, for example when we have applied for a job or when we are meeting someone new or perhaps when we are trying to create change. Most times we don’t think about it until we’ve said or done something that causes adverse effects in our relationships. Jesus thought about it just long enough to ask the question and get the response he needed to hear from his disciples. We are Christ’s disciples and to forget who we are in Christ weakens the spirit of Christ within us. Other people will think we are many things but our lives are not defined by what other people say about who we are, but by our steadfast willingness to follow the way of the cross. Fortified by the promises of God’s word, when all else passes away, the strength to continue our journey despite the hardships in the situations we experience is how we know who we are; spiritually enduring for the sake of the gospel.
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?” Luke 9:18-27
Since the day of resurrection, the message for us during this Easter season is squarely on relationship, God’s relationship with us and our relationship with one another. At the heart of that relationship is love and sometimes we have to encourage our selves in God’s love for us. He has already cleansed us with the power of his word. As we speak his words of truth for others we speak them for ourselves and know that that we will overcome the struggles and that the victory is always in the power of God’s eternal relationship with us. Thus our reward of eternal life is in our relationship with God; the goal that has no end.
Jesus says to his disciples and to us, “I am the true vine.” (And) He uses the word true to help us understand that he is the deeply rooted faithful and steadfast love of God from which all other love is to be connected. In the midst of so many other things that want to take root in our lives, as long as we have this relationship with God, even in the struggles we can be assured that he has not broken us off, but rather we must live in that eternal relationship and remain the branch that reaches out and bears fruit so that others might have that life also.