“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." John 15:5-6
I was meditating on this Scripture yesterday and I began to think about verse 6. I thought about throwing away a branch because it has withered. Usually the branch has withered because it has been cut off from its source. The source provides the nutrients and shelter the branch needs. It gains its nutrients from the soil of which the roots of a tree dig deep into the ground to obtain. It receives its shelter from being connected to the tree’s body, attached to it at some part that grows from the trunk or body of the tree.
When that branch is removed from the tree it will not produce a single thing. No leaf will grow from it, and it will no longer have nourishment of which other living organisms feed off. It will continue to slowly rot and die until it is nothing more than an item to discard with garbage.
The same thing applies to you and me. We are a part of Christ, we are all members of one body. However, if we remove ourselves from the body, we no longer gain the nourishment that we need to grow and to be productive. The Word is our source of nourishment in terms of gaining strength, wisdom, and guidance. We receive all that we need by reading the Word of God Almighty, staying in prayer with Him, and staying connected with His body, which is the church.
His Word is guidance for living a righteous life and gives us direction for dealing with a variety of issues and troubles that will arise. It empowers us through teaching us about His promises towards us. Promises that we should declare and decree over our lives, and walking in them, expecting to obtain them that we should live an abundant life.
Our prayers, as my spiritual father, Bishop Leaphart says, are the conduit to God’s heart. It is our expression and method that we use to communicate with Him the desires of our heart and our innermost feelings. Prayer draws us close to the Lord and keeps us strong, especially when we take time to listen to His responses to our petitions, or His communication with us on various issues about our lives, those connected to us, or the world in general.
Remaining in the church allows us to stay connected with other believers and keeps us strong. We can draw strength from their faith, prayers, and words of encouragement when we’re weak. When we fall away from faithfully attending worship service, it becomes easier to stay away, growing weaker, and weaker. I speak from experience, something that I’m not proud of. Yet, I know that when I am attached to His Word, His Presence, and His body I am better. I am whole.
Draw near to the Lord in every area of your life through prayer, praise and worship, reading His word, and staying connected to the body. When you’re able to consistently demonstrate this, stand back and watch your life blossom.
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