By Patrick Hawthorne
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever seen a dead tree maintain a healthy branch? If you have, that is one for the record books. Ok, how about this question. Have you ever seen a healthy tree with a few dead branches? Sure you have. We all have.
There could be many reasons why a branch could die such as bugs, disease, or damage. Whatever the reason for the death, one fundamental truth is evident. The branch was not receiving the life sustaining nutrients supplied by the tree. It was cut off from the nourishment.
Jesus said, in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Jesus is looking for a relationship involving total immersion in Him. That is what it means to abide; to be totally immersed. Jesus wants us so filled with His goodness that we ooze the very essence of Him.
Let me ask you another question. Why did the people place sick bodies in the streets where they knew the Apostle Peter was going to travel? It was because they knew that Peter was so filled with the power of God that the power oozed from his very body. They figured that, at the least, his shadow might fall on some of the sick and they would be healed. What was in the vine had overflowed to Peter, the branch.
I’m tired of the stale old religious arguments from stale old preachers who say that the gifts of the Spirit are not for today. We have the same God, the same Jesus, and the same Holy Spirit don’t we? Just because these “intellects,” say that an infilling of the Holy Spirit like on the day of Pentecost is no longer needed, does that make it true?
I’m tired of Christian’s who are afraid of getting their hands dirty. I’m tired of Christian’s who try to convince other Christian’s that a total immersion in God’s power is foolishness. I’m tired of the country club churches that are selective in their membership. I’m even tired of my own foolish religious attitude.
Jesus is my vine and I am His branch. That which flows through Him should be flowing to me. I want His promises and I don’t much care who agrees or disagrees. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His promises to the new church at the time of Pentecost are the same promises to the elder church of this day and age. I want those promises. How about you?
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[b] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (John 15:5-8 NKJV)