Like the Father, Like the Son
Scripture Reading — John 15:1-8
1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. —Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Psalm 29:2 Os Guinness, in his book No God but God, penned this line, this principle of life, that rings true for all people at all times: "What we revere, we resemble." In other words, we begin to look and act like whatever we love, treasure, value, or worship the most. God commanded the people of Israel in Leviticus 11:45, "Be holy, because I am holy." And the apostle Peter repeats this command in 1 Peter 1:15-16. This is a command that the genuine saint actually loves to keep. It is not a burden; it's a joy. It is not a duty; it's a delight. "A holy love has a holy object," says Jonathan Edwards. To behold God "in the splendor of his holiness," to love God as the Holy One, to worship and honor God with our life will result in becoming more and more like him: holy, godly, loving, a person of Christlike character. Jesus said so himself in John 15: "If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit." "The foundation of all holy affections is in [the] beauty of holiness," writes Edwards. "There is a love of holiness for its own sake that inclines people to practice holiness. Holiness is the main business that excites, draws, and governs all gracious affections." And it is the fruit of all gracious affections when these affections focus on the One who is "Holy, holy, holy" (Isaiah 6:3)!
Lord, with Saint Augustine we pray, "I have no hope at all but in your great mercy. Grant what you command and command what you will." In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.