Today’s WORD (Text) John 15:1-8
1/ I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. 2/ He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3/ You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4/ Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5/ I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6/ Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7/ If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8/ My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
Jesus is fully invested in our growth, productivity, and effectiveness as Christian disciples in the world. He took time to instruct the disciples on the intimate relationship that we have to the God the Parent and Jesus the Son. God is owner of the vineyard, and Jesus is the true vine that gives life to every branch in the vineyard, that is, to each of us. Just as a vine grower prunes the branches to make them more fruitful, even so, Jesus has discipled us with his teachings so that we might be more productive in the world. So long as we remain spiritually, morally and missionally engaged with Christ, we will be empowered by him to impact the world with the Gospel. If we move away from Christ’s teachings, and from his mandate to practice unconditional love, we will become unfruitful, and unable to bring about transformation in the world. Christ wants us to make an impact in the world and pleads with us to remain connected to him as our power source. As long as we do that, we will want for nothing in carrying out God’s mission.
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, do you feel that you are intimately connected to his mission? Is there a unity between your life and ministry and the mission of the Church of Christ? If there are gaps between your plans and God’s plans for your life, how do you propose to close those gaps?
Dear Lord, we seek a unity of mission and purpose between our lives and your will for the church. We look to you for spiritual direction, purpose, and alignment. We pray that our lives will conform to your plan for the church’s mission in the world. We confess and repent of any distraction or impediment that leads us away from your path. Deliver us from the evil that would distract and deter us from your great purposes for our lives. Lord, use us in your service every day, we pray in the Name of Jesus, Amen.
The Passionary Intention
Today, I choose to live my life with passion. Today, I intend to follow Christ more nearly, love more dearly and incarnate God’s grace more clearly by asking myself three questions:
- Where will I follow Christ today?
- To whom shall I demonstrate Jesus’ love and justice today?
- How can I play my part in practicing the presence of Christ, right here, right now?
The Passionary Movement Word and Witness devotion is published weekdays (Monday – Friday). Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies is the author of today’s devotion.
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