Thursday Morning: 21 Feb 2019 – John 15:1-11 ~ “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

Thursday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 15:1-11 (NLT)

Jesus, the True Vine

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
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Morning Reflection:

Are you remaining in (abiding in, living in, staying joined to or untied with) Jesus Christ? The reason I ask, of course, is –

Jesus says: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5b

+ What does it mean to remain in Christ? Brian Hedges offers three interwoven suggestions –

  1. Connection – a union that is life-giving and fruitful
  2. Dependence – a union that requires reliance on its source of life
  3. Continuance – a union that requires maintenance with its source to sustain the flow of life

If you believe in Jesus, you are in him. You are united to him. You are connected to the life-giving branch. But no matter where you are on your spiritual journey, you can experience the reality of this connection to Jesus more and more. – Brian Hedges

+ How do we remain in Christ? How do we become more fruitful? How do we experience more of the joy that Jesus promises? How do we become more like Jesus?

  • By allowing Jesus’ teaching to become part of us, to transform our hearts and minds and will, to become infused onto our being. (vs 7)
  • By allowing Jesus’ love to overcome our fears, to conquer our doubts, to persevere in trials, and to live guilt-free with eternity in mind. (vs 9-10)

Our union with Christ is an intimate relationship that grows through time spent listening and learning, and through experience gained through loving and obeying.

Questions for consideration:

  • Rate your relationship with Jesus on a scale of 1-10 (close 1 and distant 10)? Please explain.
  • Do you want a closer relationship with Jesus? Yes/No/Maybe? Please explain.
  • How much time do you spend with Jesus, listening and learning? Please explain.
  • How has Jesus’ love and your obedience deepened your relationship with him, and been fruitful in your life and the life of others?  Please explain.
  • What role does the Holy Spirit play in all of this? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Heavenly Father: Prune away the dead wood in my life and implant me into your Son, Jesus Christ, that his life might flow in me and through me and your Spirit might produce good fruit and loving service that glorifies you and advances your Kingdom. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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“Remain in Me”

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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