Sunday, April 26, 2020
Remain in me, as I also 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. (John 15:4)
Jesus speaks of the need to abide in him, that through him I am nourished, live, and have my being. Though I am created in God’s image, the living out of this reality unfolds slowly. Jesus modeled how it is done. I make choices to let him help me learn how to remain in him.
He died to self, in part, so I can abide in him and bear the fruits of his Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. It behooves me not to flinch when the vine seems confining. I may not completely understand God’s ways but that he died to self means that it is part of what He asks of me. Too much of me and weeds compromise the vine.
He wants me to bear faithfulness in two different ways. First, are the times known only to the two of us -- pruning times. He knows what He is doing to help me grow, keep me clinging close, correct but never condemn my attitudes and actions, and redirect my life for his best. I will feel birth pangs. If I can remain steady, trusting him, I experience the resilience of new growth. By his grace and my stillness his work can be accomplished.
Secondly, I can bear or carry faithfulness to those whom I meet as I share God’s love with them, or towards them. This is an outgrowth of my personal times with him. When I am in settings that make loving difficult, I can remember it is his love I bear. His unconditional love for me can shine through to others when I have experienced it myself. He gives in abundance in order for me to succeed in all He asks me to do.
Prayer: Lord, you gave your all for me when you died on the Cross reconciling me to the Father. Now, as I abide in you, your love and care flow into me. Strengthened, I go forth to share love and care with others because now I bear your faithfulness. Amen.