Sunday, October 2, 2022

Abide in the Vine, Jesus

I love the last words and prayers of Jesus to His disciples as recorded in the book of John in chapters 13-17.  I have always found them to be a great source of comfort and joy especially when I am struggling though difficult circumstances.

Perhaps you, as a reader, are going through difficult circumstances.  It could be a difficult family care-giving situation, a difficult illness yourself, or a host of other trying situations.  To you and all of us Jesus says, "Do not let your heart be troubled.  Trust in God, trust also in Me."  (John 14:1)  Jesus goes on to say in John 14 that He is preparing a place for us with Him, so that we can be with Him some day.  He also says that He is the way to that place and throughout life's trials here on the earth.  Jesus says to us in John 14:6 that He is the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father.  While He is preparing Heaven for us, He has also sent the Holy Spirit to guide, teach, and comfort us now.  What a blessing in facing life's struggles!

Jesus further tells us in John 15 that He is the Vine, and we are the branches.  We need to abide in Him.  We need to remain in Him, to cling to Him.  If we do this, He will give us all we need to walk this life with its challenges and joys.  In fact, He will give us strength and joy in the midst of the trials.  

Jesus, the Vine, cuts off every branch that does not bear spiritual fruit, but He also does prunes branches that are already fruitful.  Living plants need to be pruned in order to be even more fruitful.  Spiritually this means the undesirable things in our lives also has to be pruned away by His loving hands.  That is the reason for some of the challenges and trials we face.  These trials help to prune away undesirable character traits, draws us closer to the Lord in a more intimate relationship, and helps us to stop depending on ourselves and outside resources and to rather depend on him-to abide in the Vine.

Jesus says to us, the branches, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go bear fruit, fruit that will last." (John 15:16)  He will help us to bear fruit in and because of our challenges and trials of life.  We will then be  beautiful reflections of Him, and we will be used in a  mighty way in the place where He has placed us in our  lives.  Pray for His pruning and guidance in life!  

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