By Pastor Randy Mason
Liberty Baptist Church
On February 12th President Obama will give the State of the Union address, an annual constitutional requirement, "to give the Congress information on the State of the Union," a tradition that started with President Washington and continues to this day where the president reports to congress and the American people "the State of the Union," as well as his agenda and vision for the coming year.
Pastor Randy Mason
Just as the president stands before the congress and the people of the United States to give an account of his handling of the business of the federal government, we also will need to give an account of our union with Christ and our handling of the life that God has given to each of us while here on earth. In the Bible, the book of Romans chapter 14 tells us that, "every one of us shall give account of himself to God."
In John chapter 15 Jesus talks about our state of the union with Him. Jesus desires that we be united with him in a personal relationship that can only be attained by receiving Jesus into our life as Savior. Jesus goes on to tell us that after we have been united with him in salvation that we need to go on and become fruitful Christians through the process of union and communion as we fellowship daily with Christ through prayer and reading His word.
Jesus says in John chapter 15 that He is the vine and we are the branches. Only those who have been attached in union to the vine of Christ can receive the spiritual strength to live life in a manner that produces "the fruit of the Spirit." Without the Spirit of God working in us we cannot produce anything of eternal value.
Jesus gives three examples that will indicate our "state of the union" with Him. The first example is that of a person who bears no fruit in his union and communion with Christ. Jesus will take the unfruitful and unproductive Christian and lift him up as a gardener would lift up the vines and the vegetables out of the soil so that they may be able to receive the light and warmth of the sun so that they will begin to grow and become strong. God lifts the unproductive Christian out of the soil of sin and worldliness so that we can receive the light and warmth of His Son and go on to be fruitful in our union with Christ. The next example that Jesus gives us is that of a Christian who produces some fruit, but because of damaged and broken branches caused by our poor decisions our growth has been inhibited. Jesus takes our lives and prunes the branches and cuts away the hindrances and cares of this life that impede our growth and communion with the Savior so that we can become more fruitful. Jesus indicates that after He prunes the branch that we can then go on to produce "more fruit."
The last example that Jesus gives us in our state of the union with Him is that of a Christian who produces "much fruit." Jesus says the way to produce much fruit is to abide in Him by putting our total trust and confidence in Him and depend upon Him to lead, guide and control every aspect of our lives instead of us trying to react to our circumstances and work things out our own way.
Jesus desires that our state of the union with Him be that of a fruitful Christian. The progression of fruitfulness in our union with Him is from no fruit, to fruit, to more fruit, and then to much fruit as we give God control of every area of our life to work His perfect will.
The spiritual fruit that Jesus wants to be evident in our lives is found listed in Galatians chapter five. The proof of a strong and vibrant union with Christ will be evident by the kind of fruit we produce. The Bible says, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance".
May we each take inventory of our spiritual state of the union with Jesus Christ and make it our goal for this next year to walk close to the Savior and allow Him to produce in our lives the kind of faith that brings forth much spiritual fruit. Only as we yield our will to do the will of our Savior Jesus Christ can we produce spiritual fruit because Jesus says, "without me you can do nothing."
May we all be able to say that the state of our union with Christ is strong.