January 25, 2015

Exodus 12-14 - God said to Moses and Aaron while still in Egypt, “This month is to be the first month of the year for you.  Address the whole community of Israel:  tell them that on the 10th of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family...if the family is too small for a lamb, then share it with a close neighbor depending on the number of persons involved...your lamb must be a healthy male, one year old, either sheep or goat.  Keep it penned until the 14th day of this month then slaughter it at dusk.  Then take some of the blood and smear it on the 2 doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which you eat...Be fully dressed with your sandals on and your stick in your hand.  

Eat in a hurry, it’s the Passover to God....The blood on the door will serve as a sign on the houses where you live.  When I see the blood I will pass over you - no disaster will touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.  

This will be a memorial day for you, you will celebrate it as a festival to God down through the generations, a fixed festival celebration to be observed always.  You will eat unraised bread for 7 days....The first and seventh days are set aside as holy: do no work on those days in the first month, beginning on the 14th day at evening until the 21st day at evening, you are to eat unraised bread...And when your children say to you, “Why are we doing this?”  tell them:  “It’s the Passover sacrifice to God who passed over the homes of the Israelites in Egypt when he hit Egypt with death by rescued us.”  The people bowed and worshipped.

 

John 15 -  I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer.  He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear fruit.  And every branch that is fruit-bearing he prunes back so that it will bear even more.  You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken...In the same way that a branch can’t bear fruit by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.  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.  

Separate, you can’t produce a thing...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 fruit, when you mature as my disciples.”   I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me.  Make yourselves at home in my love.”

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 am 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.  

You don’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.  But remember the root command: Love one another.

If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me.  If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own.  But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you.  When that happens, remember this:  Servants don’t get better treatment than their masters.  If they beat on me, they will certainly beat on you.  If they did what I told them, they will do what you tell them...they have verified the truth of their own Scriptures where it is written, “They hated me for no good reason.”  When the Friend I plan to send you from the Father comes --the Spirit of Truth -- he will confirm everything about me.  You too, from your side must give your confirming evidence since you are in this with me from the start.