John 15:5-9 (MSG)
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me, and if my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in God’s love. “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love.”
Points of Interest
• This passage opens with a visual image to help us see that being connected to God (via the Holy Spirit) is THE thing that brings good things into our lives. In fact, when we try to get the good stuff on our own, we end up frustrated and exhausted (like “deadwood”).
• “This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love.” If we want to excel in loving, we need to experience God’s love for ourselves and then let it transform the way we love. The best way to love is not always the quickest or most convenient way to love. But the good news is that the Holy Spirit seems more than eager to help us become better lovers.
Taking it Home
How connected do you feel to Jesus these days? Maybe one way to figure that out is by asking how joyful you’ve felt since Jesus desires for his joy to be our joy. If you would like more connection, pray about that! This 40 Days Experience is about done, but your relationship with God is ongoing!
For your “at least one”
Pray for the ways in which your “at least ones” may feel as if they go in circles – like deadwood. Pray that they would find themselves connected to The Living Source and that it would change their lives.
For our church
Spending time with God matures us. Pray that we would continue to stay connected to God and that we would noticeably mature as we go.