Remain in Me | John 15

Welcome to Real Life. Where was God today?
“Prayer is a moment of incarnation—God with us.”
–Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
“Where was God today?” Anna wondered. She'd had a busy day working as a court reporter. That evening, when our group met for Bible study, she confessed she hadn’t thought of God all day.

Remain in me. Like Anna, I have yet to learn the secret of staying vitally connected to Jesus in the midst of busy days, weeks, months. Recently, I’ve been meditating on “I am the vine, you are the branches” passages in John 15. The timing was perfect. Because it was an especially busy month. Every day, I was running out the door, praying on the road, distracted by a flurry of activities. I needed Jesus more than ever. Repeating three simple words “remain in me” helped me stay connected to my God.

. . . as I also remain in you. Jesus’ words wrap a warm, fuzzy blanket around my soul. He’s with us. Not only on the days we’re aware of his presence. He’s with us on the running-out-the-door days. The days when the minutia of living crowds my brain—make an appointment, stop at the bank, buy a card, check email, grab an umbrella. Even on days we forget to remember our God, he remembers us.

No branch can bear fruit by itself. It must remain in the vine. I sometimes cut fresh flowers from my yard for my table. Once I remove those branches from the vine, their days are numbered. Their nourishment has been cut off. Kind of like me when I’m too busy to connect meaningfully with my God. I’m still spiritually alive. But my days are numbered. The longer I go without God, the more I wilt. Instead of delicious Spirit-fruit—love, joy, peace, patience, goodness—I'm anxious, frustrated, impatient. I need that vital connection to the vine. I need Jesus.




If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing. A branch doesn’t decide to grow grapes. It happens naturally through a healthy connection to the vine. This truth quiets me. I’m always planning, doing, striving. I can stop trying so hard. I need to stop trying so hard. Release control. Remain in Jesus. Follow his lead. Christ will bear fruit through you and me. Let’s trust him. Rest in his good plan. He will do it. After all, apart from him, we can do nothing. Our next breath is his gift.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. Talk about an extravagant, blank-check promise! Whatever you wish. There are conditions. IF you remain in me AND my words remain in you. I’m thinking about these verses because I'm memorizing them. Meditation and memorization are two ways for Jesus’ words to remain in us. Sometimes, we read God’s Word, walk away, and forget it. By day’s end, we’re wondering, “Where was God today?” Each time I repeat this verse, I ask. I pray. I take God up on his promise. That's the whole idea.

Is it a busy day, a busy month, a busy life? Let’s carry Jesus’ words with us. Remain in me. Perhaps we'll discover the secret of staying vitally connected to our God!

Lord Jesus, 
Help us remain in you all day, every day. Amen.



How do you stay vitally connected to Jesus? I'd love your input. Please leave a comment.

Take it further…
  • Read The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. For four hundred years, this little book has helped thousands of Christians remain in Jesus.
  • Read, memorize, meditate on John 15:4–7 (NIV):

    4 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.
    5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
    6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
    7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 
Image of grapevine credit: Henri Guerin, https://www.pexels.com/@henriguerin 

Comments

  1. Love Brother Lawrence also Peggi! Seems like every season I have to find a new rhythm to connect with Jesus in the changes of life.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Habits of connection are great, but I have to continually remind myself not to go on autopilot. Being purposeful about seeking God helps too-- for example, making it a priority to read your post!

    ReplyDelete

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