“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 (NIV)
On a recent housecleaning day, I noticed glitter on the floor, on my furniture and even in the bathroom. Puzzled at first, I then realized the sparkly stuff must have come off my granddaughter’s t-shirt, the one she had worn the previous day when we celebrated her birthday.
I continued cleaning but could not completely eliminate all traces of the small, shiny objects littering my house. However, as I thought about the previous day and the celebration of a life that God created, I smiled. In the past, the cleaning would have consumed me. After the houseful I had hosted the day before, I would have wanted everything spotless. However, I saw the glittery remains as a reminder of my love for this precious child.
There was another precious child who grew into a man, a man who became our Savior, who reminds us daily we belong to Him. He didn’t stay in the manger. He is not just the baby whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. He is the Living God and He wants a relationship with each one of us.
It’s like one beggar telling another where to find bread.
In a recent sermon, our pastor said, “You belong to God. If your experience with Him ends when you walk out the church door, something is wrong.”
I can relate to what my pastor said. Until October 14, 2001, I didn’t realize God wanted a personal relationship with me through His Son. On that warm, sunny Sunday afternoon, I prayed aloud for the first time in my life, asking God to give me direction because I was lost. I was 47-years-old. I had grown up in the church but had walked out the doors, not knowing the truth.
The truth finally set me free, free to be the woman He created me to be, free to grow in His love and grace and free to begin spreading the Good News as all of us should if we are faithful followers. Pastor Ray explains it this way, “If you’ve found something satisfying in your heart or soul, you want to share it. It’s like one beggar telling another where to find bread.”
Jesus is the bread of life. When we grasp with our whole being that He is all we need to satisfy this hunger inside of us, we can’t stay quiet. He won’t let us. We must choose to make worship a part of our life, to mature in our faith and to leave behind a piece of ourselves wherever we go.
We can set goals and make resolutions. However, if they don’t line up with God’s plan for our lives, we need to examine the choices we’re making. If we want to be kingdom builders, we have to choose now whom we will serve and what our legacy will be.
What will you leave behind?