A Strong Connection
What's your goal in life? Do you think about that very often? Do you want to live a fruitful life? And what does a fruitful life look like for you? Are you living life to the fullest? Are you thriving? Are you flourishing? And if you're not, what would it take to be really fruitful to thrive, to flourish? Do you know yourself? Do you know life? Are you connecting with God in a way that allows you to know these things?
In this reading, Jesus says, “I am the vine and you are the branches.” And the branches separated from the vine, they can't do anything. The branch is separated from the vine, they wither and they die. But when the branches are connected to the vine, they're fruitful. And not only a little bit fruitful, very fruitful. Maximum fruitfulness comes from our connection with God. Maximum fruitfulness comes from our connection with God. And so if our life feels without purpose, if our life feels without meaning, if our life feels that it's not fruitful, first thing we've got to do is check our connection with God.
How often like you're working on some sort of thing, electronic thing, it's not working. All these devices we have in our lives, and someone's having to look at it and why isn't it working? And someone's getting frustrated and maybe tempers beginning to rise a little bit and creative language being used. And then someone says, "Oh, it's not plugged in". It's happened to us all, right? It happens to us all with God, too. We look at our life, we think, life isn't working. This is going on and this is chaos. And I don't know what to do, then I'm confused about that and I feel anxious about that and I'm afraid of that. And I don't know what I should be doing. And what do we realize? Oh, hold on a minute. We're not plugged in because our connection with God. Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Stay connected to me and your life will be fruitful, and not just a little bit fruitful, maximally fruitful.” And sometimes, we're just, we're not plugged in. We're not connected. And it's good for us to check that connection from time to time. It's good for us to say, "All right, how's my connection with God? How's my connection with God and what is the goal of my life? What is the purpose of my life?" And sometimes we need things to focus us.
And one of the things I thought about here is this fruitfulness. This fruitfulness, this idea of being fruitful, of bringing good fruit into the world. If your goal in life was to do the most good for the most people, if that was your goal, to do the most good for the most people in your one short life, with whatever resources, talents you have available to you, how would you live your life differently? If your goal was to do the most good for the most people, how would you live your life differently?
There's one last thing I want to talk with you about. Towards the end of this reading, there's a line that it's there, but we don't really ever think about it that much. Jesus says, "If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you want and it shall be done for you". Ask whatever you want. We don't talk about that. We don't talk about that. Why? Because it's the first two things that we struggle with. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you want and it should be done for you. There are some lines of the Gospel that just haven't been tested. They haven't been tested. This is a line of the Gospel that the Saints tried to test with their whole lives. They laid down their whole lives trying to abide in him and allowing his word to abide in them. They tested this line. The thing is, of course, that once you abide in him and his word abides in you, many of the things you thought you would have asked for, you're no longer interested in. When we abide in him and his word abides in us, we discover that what we have wanted all along is what God wants for us from the beginning.