Friday, 14 October 2016
I am not worthy
5 I am the vine, and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it.
10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love.
16 You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of Him in my name.
When I was young, many years ago, and lived in London, I made many acquaintances with well-to-do people. They were not friends as such, just acquaintances. People I knew and met with often. I wonder where they all are now !!!
One day, one such acquaintance said: "Let's go to my club."
"My club?" I thought, "I wonder what he means."
Moments later we arrived at this very classy building with a man at the door wearing a posh uniform. He saluted my friend by touching his cap, eyed me suspiciously, and opened the door to let us in.
It was a gentleman's club.
As we entered my feet sank into such luxurious carpets so thick that it was like walking through a cloud of feathers. Above me were chandeliers so big and so magnificent that they probably needed their own power stations to keep them lit. Around me on the walls hung the most beautiful oil paintings I'd ever seen, all originals, mostly portraits of old people in ancient type clothings. No doubt patrons of this place from years gone by. There were also a variety of full size marble statues; the kind you would find in a Roman or Greek temple or palace. I didn't know who they were, but they looked as if they belonged to these sumptuous surroundings.
We entered a very large room with similar thickness of carpets and wall-to-wall luxury. It was full of huge leather chairs placed in twos or threes around tables scattered here and there. There were already some men there, sitting quietly and reading their papers.
My friend and I sat at a table. He asked me if I wanted a drink. "No point in asking for a beer," I thought, "this place is far too posh to have something as common as beer. Or indeed, someone as common as me. I do not belong in this place!"
I asked my friend what he'd suggest and he rattled a list of wines all with fancy titles like "Chateaux Very Expensive" or "Chateaux Even More Extravagantly Expensive". He suggested that if I'd prefer a brandy they have a selection of Cognacs dating back several centuries and favourites of princes and emperors from years gone by.
I can't remember what I eventually had to drink; but I knew that I did not belong there. Had I turned up to this place on my own, no doubt the doorkeeper, or maître d’hôtel as my friend called him, would have stopped me getting in and threw me in front of a passing taxi or bus. The only reason I was there, and enjoying a luxurious drink at his expense, I might add, was because I was with him. He had the golden ticket to enter this oasis in a busy London, and he had the right to bring in whoever he wants, including riff-raff like me.
When I think about it; it's the same about Heaven I suppose. We don't have a right to be there. We're not really worthy. God has invited us all to His place if we come with Jesus. "No one goes to the Father, except by me." John 14:6
And as Jesus says in the quotations above, if we remain in Him, we will bear much fruit. We will be one with Him, His followers, His friends, under His protection, and loved by Him.
And twice He promises that if we remain in/with Him, we can ask anything in His name and His Father will let us have it.
When we pray, "God, in the name of Jesus, I ask for ..." God will listen. He will respond. And in His own time, and in His own way, our prayers will be answered.
And if we stay side by side with Jesus, hand-in-hand throughout our life, no matter how difficult it is sometimes; then one day we too will be welcome in Paradise. Just because we are with Jesus.