Summary: God’s grace comes to us on its way to someone else.
Title: How We Are Conduits of God’s Grace
Text: John 15:1-8
Thesis: God’s love comes through us on its way to someone else.
A conduit is a natural or artificial channel through which something is conveyed, flows, or is disbursed. (Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition)
One of the most amazing conduits in the world is found right here in Colorado.
It begins at Lake Dillon or the Dillon Reservoir in Dillon, Colorado. As you know Dillon Lake is approximately 70 miles west of Denver on I – 70.
• Project Dillon Reservoir Panoramic Photograph
The building of Dillon Reservoir required relocating the town of Dillon. The lake was completed in 1963 and has the capacity of around 250,000 acre feet of water. In an attempt to divert water from the Blue River Basin to the South Platte River Basin, the Robert’s Tunnel was chiseled out under the Continental Divide.
The tunnel was dug from both the west and east portals. This photo shows the workers meeting in the middle, so to speak. Imagine east meets west twelve miles into the Continental Divide.
• Project West and East Tunnel Meeting Photograph
The next photo is of the east portal near Grant, Colorado taken in 1962 when the tunnel was completed.
• Project 1962 East Portal Photograph
And this last photo shows water gushing from the Roberts Tunnel… having flowed through the 23 mile engineering marvel under the Continental Divide, from the Blue River Basin into the South Platte River Basin where it will make its way from 9,000 feet down to the Mile High City.
• Project East Portal Water Flowing Photograph
In our text today, Jesus likens our relationship with him and to the world to a branch on a grape vine. One end of the branch is connected to the vine and on the other end of the branch is fruit. The role of the branch is essentially that of a conduit through which the grace of God flows and extends fruit to others.
Just as the water flows from Dillon Lake through the Roberts Tunnel to the thirsty people in the Denver Metro area, the loving grace of God flows from God, through us to the peoples of the world.
The flow of God’s grace through us to others cannot happen if the conduit is not connected to the source. All the water in the world can be a bottled up on the west side of the Continental Divide but it is of no help to the people living on the east side of the Continental Divide, unless there is a conduit connecting east and west. Christians are the conduit through which the grace of God flows to others.
We have to be connected if we are going to be conduits of God’s grace.
I. Our ability to bear fruit is contingent on being connected to Christ.
“A branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me.” John 15:4
This week I was driving over to our bank on Carr and 58th Avenue. I took 64th over to Carr. Just after I crossed Old Wadsworth I noticed that tree trimmers had been at work on a property on the north side of the street. There were piles of branches that had been cut from the trees in the yard. I looked up and noticed that though the trees had been cut back, there were still many branches remaining.
One thing is certain. The branches that had been cut from the trees would never again produce fruit. Nary a leaf will grow from the disconnected branches. But life will continue to flow through the branches that remain and they will bear fruit.
Branches have to be connected. Jesus said he is the vine, we are the branches and God is the gardener. God grows his fruit from the vine and through the branches connected to that vine or Christ. If Jesus Christ is the vine and we are the branches our connection must be directly to the vine, not to the vine through anything or anyone else.
So it is imperative that we be connected to Christ and remain connected to Christ if we are to bear fruit as conduits of God’s grace. And that connection happens when we believe in and trust Christ as our Savior and become his followers.
Jesus said, “Everyone who believes in me will have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:15-16 Last week I spoke of Acts 4:12 in which Peter proclaimed that there is “salvation in no one [and no thing] other than Christ! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call upon to save them [no other such connection exists… we must be connected to Christ].”