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Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

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

Have you ever thought of the passion behind the words of John 15:4? Jesus Christ, Messiah, the son of the living God is asking to remain in you. Some translations say ‘abide in you’. Either way, He isn’t asking to be WITH me. He wants to be in me and wants me to be ‘in Him’.

He isn’t telling me to clean up my act and join him when I’m done, like being part of the vine is dependent on performance or is the result of some supernatural occurrence. Branches aren’t add-ons or the result of some afterthought.

Branches, of course can’t survive without the vine, but a vine without branches? Not very practical. So the two of them, branches and vines, are interdependent. Imagine that. Jesus thinks enough of me that he says we are dependent on one another.

Now, me being dependent on Jesus? No question about that. But the thought of him being dependent on me adds a whole new perspective to the story. I’m not something he’s about to set on a shelf somewhere until further notice.

We are together. He isn’t asking me to join him one day a week. This is the real thing. This abiding envelopes my emotional, intellectual, spiritual and being. We are intertwined, interdependent, in constant interaction; constantly touching one another’s heart.

I’ve heard sermon after sermon on this passage. Each one seemed to carry with it a sense of huge responsibility to perform, to live worthy of the calling. Branches don’t have the option of living worthy of the vine. They just are. For a branch to pull-away from the vine is dangerous for the vine and can cause nearly fatal consequences because it damages the vine. Were a branch able to pull itself away from the vine, it is always fatal.

What amazing love he has for me that he would consider me to be so much a part of him. What an awesome position I have in him that I would be so close to his heart! As the vine, he is passionate about giving me everything I need to not only survive, but flourish. As a branch my goal in life is to produce beautiful fruit for his glory.

PRAYER: Jesus I’ve never thought of the passion behind abiding or being ‘in you’. What amazing love you have for me. Yet on a daily basis I seem to try to live apart from the one source of power and love that will help me cope with the struggles of this journey called life. Thank you for loving me so much. Empower me with your Spirit to bask in the glory of being a part of you. In your name, Amen.

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May 2023
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