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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Where Vine Meets Branch

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you,” Jesus told the disciples the night before His crucifixion, “for a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me” (John 15:2, NLT). “In abiding you seek, long for, thirst for, wait for, see, know, love, hear and respond to a person” (Bruce Wilkinson, SECRETS OF THE VINE). Jesus Christ longs to have a deep intimate relationship with you–not just one that scratches the surface of your heart, but one that draws you daily into His presence. It is a relationship that changes the very core of who you are, and drives your life into utter fulfillment.

Jesus is the vine, and you are the branch (John 15). Your life remains vital and alive as long as you stay connected to the source of your spiritual life. If you don't, you dry up and wither away.  “Think about the meeting place of vine and branch,” Wilkerson writes. “Why would Jesus give us a picture of a living thing whose life forcethe sapis mysteriously out of sight?  One reason could be that, in abiding, what happens on the surface doesn't count; what's happening inside does.”  Surrender to His spiritual molding happens inside your heart and mind. That yielding of self creates a connection that brings His power and purpose. Nothing can keep you from the powerful spiritual life-changing force to be found in surrender to Him when you desire His will instead of your own. In inward surrender of self, the outward “you” changes. When your life reflects from has happened in your heart from surrendering and abiding in Him, the outward result is His power flowing freely and unrestrictedly through you.

Have you surrendered to the living-changing force of His will? Do you remain in His presence allowing Him to shape and mold your inner man? Do you seek His truth and purpose? Thirst for His living water? Wait for His guidance and answer? See with His eyes instead of what you see with your own? Hear with His ears instead of what your own receive? Understand with His spiritual mind instead of what your human mind perceives? God disciplines sin and prunes self so that from your relationship with Him the lives of others will also be changed. When the life-blood of the Vine flows into the surrendered branch, the branch is filled with the heart-beat of the Vine. When your heart beats for Him the change that has happened inwardly flows outwardly to others who await His purpose and promise. Where Vine meets branch have you been changed inwardly by His love? Does your life bear fruit? Your life ultimately reflects what is true within your own heart.  

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