CONNECTING WITH GOD-THE SHEPHERD, THE VINE AND THE BREAD
"That they all may be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." John 17:21
In order for us to connect with God as intimately as Jesus spoke and for us to become One with Him relates to a man and woman becoming one flesh in marriage. Joined together with the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
Within this message we will see what it means for us to enter that relationship of being one with God. First, the Shepherd prepares us to eat and drink without distraction being our provider and protector, next the Vine is our life source, being connected to Him we abide and dwell in Him forever, and lastly the Bread is our communion with the Son making us sharers in His fellowship.
The Shepherd, the Vine and the Bread are our divine connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, our co-union, co-munnion and co-mission in life, to be Joint-Heirs with Jesus, seated as One in heavenly places in Him!
"And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." John 17:3
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me besides the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His namesake. Psalm 23:1-3
Sheep are the only animal needing human oversight and we as spiritual sheep also need the Good Shepherd's loving care for us. In order for the sheep to eat of the green pasture they have been led to, they must be free from distractions, such as flies, mosquitoes and other pestilence and so it is with us; we must also be free from that which robs us of our quiet time with God.
Once we are still and quiet, the revelation of His word begins to enter our spirit, giving us spiritual nourishment that sustains us and allows us to grow and mature, without which we would die. Next, we are led to still waters because rushing water scares the sheep so they won't drink. Once they are able to drink of the water of life they become tranquil and at rest, free from fear and the anxiety of life.
This is the beginning of the divine connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that one can only obtain by seeking their presence and being still so that they can receive spiritual life. Many today who claim to be believers are too busy with their lives and distracted with the worries of the world and the cares of this life and so they shrivel up and die spiritually! For those who allow the Shepherd's care, their soul will be restored and they will be led on the narrow road of righteousness.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:5,6
"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." John 15:5
It was once said by a visiting dignitary, "It is amazing how much the American church has been able to accomplish without the Holy Spirit." This statement is so true with the advent of Mega churches, programs of all kinds and with the promotion of their ministries sent around the world by TV.
Jesus said, "My house shall be a house of prayer." He never meant for His true ekklesia (assembly) to be a stadium of lost pew sitters attending once a week to get their ears tickled by some Prima-donna, a term from opera given to the first woman who were often egotistical, demanding and flamboyant. Sound familiar? Jesus also warned us that there would be many false prophets and teachers in the last days!
The very first expression of Christ's body waited on the outpouring of Holy Spirit upon them to receive power and anointing as they connected to the life giving vine! Today we are to be an abiding citizen of the very vine of God, receiving spiritual nourishment and the life of the Spirit. A branch cannot ever leave the vine and if it does, it quickly dies, never to be connected again! Abide, dwell and remain!
"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 ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so that you will be My disciples." John 15:6-8
"I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."John 6:35
Jesus Christ is the bread of life for all who would make Him Lord and partake of the spiritual nourishment He gives. Jesus told His disciples that unless they ate His flesh and drank His blood they would not have His life in them. This term of eating His flesh and drinking His blood describes the covenant we enter upon making Him our Lord.
The Greek word, Koinonia means fellowship, communion, sharing, intimacy and intercourse, the desired relationship we have with the Lord Jesus and with one another. When we are saved, His blood supernaturally washes us from sin and when we partake of His word it supernaturally nourishes our spirit with divine revelation.
This is our life in the Spirit, to become one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in fellowship and communion, sharing and connecting in a divine love relationship. Deeper than any human emotion, it will fulfill you and feed you with the supernatural power of divine revelation, giving you the benefits of becoming spiritual sons and daughters of the Most High!
"And the glory which you gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one; I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have love Me." John 17:22,23
Your servant in Christ, Timothy Laughlin
Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ