How far have you followed yours? The past doesn’t have to control your future.
This morning’s reading comes from 1 Chronicles 1-9 and Psalm 69. Every now and then I get interested in my family tree. I made it through part of it a few times, once early on just talking with family and the second time using ancestry.com with a 14 day trial. Today’s reading makes me wonder if I should I try to go farther now. What happened in the past? What things from the past happened that got us where we are today? Where did it all get started?
The Bible has an interesting perspective because it starts at the beginning and moves forward, where we tend to have to start at then end and work our way back. Imagine being able to follow the branches all the way back to Adam? Wow that would be so incredible.
Imagine if in the story of your family you were called out like Jabez. Imagine if you stood out in the midst of the listing of the family. Are you living a life that is different? Are you trying to live better? Are you honorable? What would you ask for?
9-10Jabez was a better man than his brothers, a man of honor. His mother had named him Jabez (Oh, the pain!), saying, “A painful birth! I bore him in great pain!” Jabez prayed to the God of Israel: “Bless me, O bless me! Give me land, large tracts of land. And provide your personal protection—don’t let evil hurt me.” God gave him what he asked. — 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
What it the trunk of your tree? Have you been grafted into God’s tree? When we aren’t connected we are like the pruned branches that dry up and get burned or thrown out.
1-3“I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. 4“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. 5-8“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. 9-10“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love. 11-15“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father. 16“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you. 17“But remember the root command: Love one another. — John 15:1-17