The Gospel of John | Day Eleven

By: Brittany Green | Vines and Branches 

"For the longest time my spiritual journey always seemed so simple and insignificant. I didn't come to know the Lord after an extremely rough time in my life. I grew up in a Christian home with a family that always attends church. So, I thought, well I guess I'm nothing special to God. But one day I realized that wasn't true. 

God uses everyone's different and unique testimonies to inspire people in different ways. I have gotten to share my testimony with others and told of the good the bad and the ugly. (And yes, even in a "good Christian" home there are some ugly moments!) The fact that God revealed Himself to me in one of the better times in my life encourages others and reminds them to love God and seek after Him--even when things seem to be going good. 

Trust me: there will be seasons and circumstances where you desperately cry out for the Lord's help. But, you don't have to wait for Him to bring you to your knees in order for Him to take the wheel. Let him grow you and overwhelm you with His love. Let Him be your guide and keep you from harm. the sooner the better, because He is just so incredibly good!" 

-Hannah, Senior 

I’d like to grow plants. I think it would be really neat to have cute little herbs in my kitchen windows or succulents along the porch. How whimsical to have wildflowers in the backyard that I could put daisies on my table each week! They’re the friendliest of flowers. It’s a nice thought. But as hard as I try, I typically let anything that I try to grow die. 

Do you remember in kindergarten when the teachers would send home tiny little seeds to grow? Remember the roots coming through and then the little plant popping through the soil? What a neat process! There’s a lot that goes into growing things.

With all the plant-nerdiness you can muster in you, read John 15.

Does anything that you just read scare you or give you a shock?

These words are pretty abrasive. Completely said in love to spur us on, but everytime I read them I get a gut check.

Go back and underline verses 5 and 6.

Lets think this through. If I were to cut a branch off of a peach tree, would peaches grow on the branch anymore? Not a chance. All the soil and water and sun couldn’t make it come back to life. It’s the same with us as believers. We can’t have life outside of Jesus. We can’t grow in our faith if we’re not connected to Jesus. Verse 6 says that a branch that is cut off is only good to fuel some fire, and while we could make some good smores, that branch is not being productive in growing the fruit that it was created to make.

What does that mean for us?

We were created to be in relationship with Jesus and to be part of His work redeeming the world. We were created to bear fruit, which means disciples. If we don’t spend time with God, in His Word, then how are we supposed to know what type of fruit to bear? How can we have a relationship without actually spending time with Him?

I love the word abide. The dictionary defines it as: to remain, to continue, to stay.

How do we abide in Jesus? Well, I’d say you’re taking a step by doing this Bible study. We spend time in prayer, listening to God, reading His word, serving and loving His people.

What are some other ways you can abide in Jesus?

Close out your time by reading what Paul writes about fruit in Galatians 5:22-25.

What can you start doing today to be an abiding member of God’s family? How can you walk through your day abiding in Jesus?