A HEALTHY CHURCH IS… a place of action

August is here and with it comes a full church calendar. It is awesome! 

The Bible says many different things on many different topics, resulting in a very balanced way God desires us to live our lives. The theme and verse for the month of August is, “A healthy church is a place of action.” John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” 

This first half of the year at Tabernacle we have looked at many foundational truths centering around the power of God.  Truths such as, 

  • “A healthy church is built by Christ, on Christ” –January
  • “A healthy church is a place of refuge”– April
  • “A healthy church is built by the power of the Holy Spirit”– June
  • “A healthy church rests in the Gospel”– July

 

But now we get on to a theme of action. I love action. I love seeing action happen! I love seeing people enjoy serving the Lord!

As is often the case, a close examination of the verse reveals some interesting truths that are easy to overlook: “I am the vine…” Jesus is explaining where all the nutrients come from. The one source of growth. The only source of strength. The ONLY source of anything long-term.

“…Ye are the branches:” WE are where the fruit will physically come from. The vine does not bear fruit, the branches do. Yes, the branches are attached to the vine, but no vine ever bore fruit; We the branches do.

We as Christians need to understand the foundation that we build upon that is Christ Jesus. We need to understand the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to understand that life is not a frenzy, and we are to rest in the power of the Gospel. We need to understand the lifegiving strength we get from being firmly attached to the vine. 

BUT, at the end of the day, if we do not bear fruit ourselves, the work of Christ will be hindered. 

If I abandon my wife and kids, they are going to be hindered. 

If I abandon the studying, the planning, and the executing of various outreach projects at church, the effectiveness of Tabernacle will be hindered. 

If YOU as the reader of this article, decide that serving your family and Lord is best left to others, there will be less fruit produced. There is no way around that fact.

YES, be balanced. YES, serve out of a heart of love for the Lord. BUT SERVE THE LORD! If you don’t, who will? Those who don’t know Christ? Will they bear the fruit? Will the pastor bear all the fruit? There will be very little fruit if that’s the case.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

Be reminded that Satan’s attacks are never far away. We may start out joyously serving the Lord, firmly attached to the vine. But little by little we may begin to detach from the vine. Just like a bouquet of freshly cut roses, things will continue to look beautiful at first. But slowly and surely, we will feel the effects of being detached from the vine. 

The solution is simple. Reattach to Jesus Christ the vine. Maybe take some rebuilding time if needed, but reattach to the vine, and let that fruit once again be produced for the glory of God.

-Pastor Thomas