Let’s slow down.  There are such treasures to be gleaned from the remaining chapters in this book and I don’t want to feel like we are flying through them.  I want us to have time to savor the flavors, to reflect on the truths and how they impact our lives, and to be still so that God can speak to our spirits.  So … we are not going to read John in 8 weeks (which was the stated plan in the introduction of our study).  We are going to take more time than that.  Keep your journal or notebook close by … and stay ready to “hear a word from the Lord” …

Today read John 15: 1 – 17

Remember the context of our passage.  Jesus has moved into the last week of His life on earth … and He knows it.  Therefore He is sharing His final words with His followers.  What would yours be?  If you knew  this was to be your last week on earth … who would you want to talk to?  What would you want to tell them?  Wisdom would tell us to get on with it!  Are there important things you want your children to know?  Let them know … now (age appropriate of course!)  Your spouse … your parent … your friend?  Jesus is taking the opportunity to speak of the “most important things” to those that He loves before He leaves.  So remember that as we read … these are the “most important things” …

First, Jesus wants His disciples to know that they MUST remain in Him.  It is not optional.  It is the only place for life and growth.  It is the only way to have a fruitful life.  The Greek word translated “remain” in the NIV and “abide” in the NASB has everything to do with “staying put, clinging to.”  One interesting slant on the word is that it also means “to nest”.  I love that image!  We women love to make our nests.  When we move, the first thing we want to do is get the nest set up.  Then we can go on to other things.  Jesus is telling us in this passage that we must make our nest, our home, in Him … first.  When we do that … we can always be “at home” … regardless where life takes us. 

I love turtles … they are funny-looking, interesting creatures.  One of the things that I love the most is the fact that their home goes with them wherever they go.  That is the image that comes to mind when I read these verses in John 15.  When I remain in the Lord … my nest goes with me wherever I go.  I am NEVER away from home.  Is the Lord your “home”?  Father, help us know how to ‘stay home’ with you every day, through every circumstance.

The second thing Jesus tells His disciples they MUST do is … love each other.  How can that be so simple to say, so simple to write … and so difficult to do!  And it cannot be like the world loves – loving those individuals who love me back or who are lovable in my eyes – it must be like He loves.  I just can’t do it!  Wait … if I am remaining in Christ … that means my nest is in Him … so I can just curl up in Him and He can do the loving.  After all, He’s really good at it!  Can we allow Jesus to love others through us?  I think it will require getting big “self” out of the way … Father, help us get our own egos out of the way so that You can love people through us.  And as we submit to that, Lord, begin to put the desire to love in our spirits.

And then, my friends … fruit comes!  I don’t have to work so hard to develop the fruit of the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22 – 23) because fruit is the natural overflow of the vine.  I don’t have to stress out about ‘evangelism’ because my life becomes a testimony to the love of God.  And fruit comes …

May you see fruit in your life this day … fruit that lasts … fruit that comes from the Source …