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John 15: 5

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.

I referred to this verse yesterday but just reading it filled me with such revelation and joy that I want to share with you. There is so much in this little verse. I certainly cannot cover it all in one Word of the Day. Let’s just look at two aspects. First, have you thoroughly considered “he who abides in Me?” What does abide mean? I think we understand this to mean to “dwell in.” Another definition is to remain in one place or state. We talk about abiding in Jesus and his abiding in us but it is hard to really wrap your head around. This abiding Jesus is talking about bespeaks a continuity. It isn’t characterized by one minute in him and then next off in our own world apart from him. This abiding in him and he in us is a deep integration of two souls, who are of one mind and one purpose. It isn’t the flitty affair of new love. It is the entrenched devotion of life long lovers. He who abides in Jesus and in whom Jesus abides is enmeshed with Jesus. There is no retreat from him. Everywhere you go, there he is. Your thoughts, dreams, songs and conversation keep revolving back to him. He is literally, rather than figuratively, “in you” and you are not only “in him” but also into him. You are interested in his thoughts and his ways. He is part of you such that there is no longer a means by which to separate the two of you. I could go on and on but you get the idea.

Then I really like this bit about “apart from Me you can do nothing.” At first blush it sounds a bit rude and may affect my ego. The other side of the coin is so amazing though. If, I can do no thing apart from him but I have done something successfully then isn’t it true that I must have done that thing with him? Now, how exciting is that? You have worked with Jesus because you have been successful. The really exciting part is that now you know how to create more success. Do everything you wish to be successful in with him. Endeavor to be “in him” as you work, play, raise your children. Confer with him not daily, but rather moment by moment. What was that email you were about to send? Wait, what does the Holy Spirit have to say about it. Is there better sentence structure, additional thoughts, praise for the recipient? Maybe he wants you to copy someone else or perhaps not send it at all. What about that meeting this afternoon? What does that look like if you are in him and he in you? Perhaps you even think you will work an extra hour and you hear his voice gently leading you to spending that hour reading a novel.

Whatever plans you have today, I guarantee they will all go better if you will do them with him. Maybe we all need to ask the Father what “in him” means to Him. I am convinced that He can, and will, show us even deeper meaning. The one part that is very clear is that the branches cannot survive apart from the vine. I would have you note, however, that the vine does not produce the fruit but rather the branches. This is a partnership of the most intimate kind. There is no end to which we can immerse ourselves in him, or even to allow him to take up residence in us. I hope this verse, this picturesque speech from Jesus will continue to minister life to you.

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