Remain In Me
25 March 2015
Reading: John 15; Proverbs 14
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! 8 My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.” (John 15:5-8 NLT)
Jesus pictured the relationship between him and us as Shepherd and sheep in John 10, and as Vine and branches in John 15. It takes more than one way of looking at this spiritual truth of our relationship with Jesus to even hope to grasp it!
My relationship with Jesus Christ must be connected and consistent to produce life in me and fruit for others. It can’t be merely intellectual – knowing truth. It can’t be merely functional – obeying a set of rules and practicing some rituals.
Because “knowing” and “doing” are easier to measure than “being,” there is a steady pull away from a “Remain In Me” relationship into mere knowledge and activity.
Here are some things I can do to keep my relationship with Jesus connected and life-giving:
• I can pray daily and often and about everything that’s going on.
• I can read God’s word daily and think prayerfully about what it means to me.
• I can worship, reverence, and celebrate God – who he is and what he has done.
• I can engage in close relationship and communication with other Christ-followers.
• I can live and give and serve from the inside out – prompted by the Spirit within.
• Most of all, I can love, because when I love – really love – I’m closest to Jesus!
Father, I am painfully aware of how easily and how quickly I can drift out of the intimacy of relationship with you and into the ritual practice of religion. Please help me to avoid substituting the objective and structured practice of religion for the consistent, connected, life-giving relationship you desire with me. I purpose to make your words at home in my heart and my heart at home with you. Amen.