Have you ever been listening to what you thought was a familiar story, about ready to “tune out,” but then were glad you didn’t because it had a surprise ending? The Scriptures this week have a surprise in them like that. It seems outlandish, far-fetched, maybe even crazy ~ one that you would hesitate to say out loud to another person. But Jesus is like that sometimes. It’s easy to reject some of His words, to assume maybe the Bible translators goofed, or that Jesus just went too far.

For example, in this week’s Gospel, Jesus states, “Then My Father will give you whatever you ask for in My name.” Don’t you want to say, “Yeah. Right. I can think of lots of things I asked God for that I didn’t get!” But if we read carefully, it had two caveats. One is the word “then.” We need to read what came before that to find out what “then” meant. Right before that, we are told that we need to produce “fruit, the kind of fruit that will last” as part of this promise God makes.

Bearing fruit was mentioned in last week’s sermon ~ the fruit that results from our staying connected to the Vine (Jesus). The end of the sentence, “in My name,” also needs to be interpreted in order to understand the promise of God. One way to clarify “in My name” is to think of it as “in accordance with God’s will.” God is not going to do something for us that is not in our best interest; God wants what is best for us. Like any loving parent, God gives what we need, not necessarily what we want, when we want it.

Do you want to know what the other message of hope is, which is an even more outlandish promise from Jesus? Do you want to know how to have more joy in your life? Do you want to know why “It’s your move”?

Good! See you Sunday! This week’s sermon topic is: “IT’S YOUR MOVE,” based on I John 5:1-4 and John 15:9-17.

This week’s Note from Pastor J R was written by Deacon Jamie Grimes