Friday, February 13, 2015

Long-Term Lease

Today's Scripture portion is John 15:1-17.  This is the "Vine and the branches" passage.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.   “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.   You are my friends if you do what I command you.   No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.  This I command you, to love one another."
It may seem a bit redundant, but it is well worth reading through three times:  once to get the gist of the passage; once, at a slower pace; once, very slowly to let it just speak to your heart.

There are some very obvious (and some not so obvious key words in this section:

- Abide
- Vine
- Branches
- Fruit
- Love
- Friends
 Let's focus on the first word for today.  The word "abide" has three different meanings given on Dictionary.com.  
  1. to remain; continue; stay
  2. to have one's abode; dwell; reside
  3. to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship, etc.; last
There's a lot to consider, isn't there?  We should remain in Christ, continue to walk in His ways, and stay on His path.  We need to abide with him, dwell in His presence, and reside in the life He offers.  And, we need to continue--have a consistent attitude of following, cultivating our relationship with Him, and, well, staying put!

So...thought for the day:  Is your place of residence a short-term contract or a long-term lease?

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