“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. 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. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (John 15:4-5,7,10)
One of my summer staff ladies from Trail West, Susannah, posted this verse on our group wall on Facebook. It was a great reminder of what our mission in this life should be, to abide in Jesus. He is the one who will cause us to bear fruit. Without Him, we are dead branches produce nothing. This weekend the Bear and I watched as Jed pruned the shrubs in front of our house. The Bear loves watching his daddy do yard work, and Jed explained to him that the shrubs would grow much faster the more he prunes them. It was such a picture of how our Father prunes us so that we can grow and bear fruit.
Prayer for the week:
Father God, I long to abide with you and your Son. Teach me what that means and how to go about it daily. I hope to obey your commandments. Help me to be faithful. I strive to bear fruit for your glory. Lord, make me fruitful. Prune and shape my life so that it can bear much fruit. Amen.
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
”Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” He replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it.
Luke 19: 35-41
Today is Palm Sunday, when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. I’ve been doing a Lenten study for the past few weeks, and I have learned so much about the last weeks that Jesus walked on this earth. Before this study, I don’t think I’d ever noticed verse 41. Jesus rides in to the city on a donkey so that He could fulfill the prophecy from Zechariah 9:9. The crowd is celebrating Him, acknowledging that He is the Messiah. They wave palm branches, a national sign of freedom, and lay their cloaks under His feet. The Pharisees try to shut up the crowd, worried that the Roman soldiers will come and regulate on the crowd. All the while Jesus is riding on a young donkey, mourning on the inside for a city and a people that He loves. He alone knows that He is riding to His death. He alone knows that the cheers will quickly turn from praise to condemnation. Imagine His thoughts as He rode through the cheering crowd. The Son of God was so overcome with emotion that He shed tears for the lost. Thank you, Jesus, for taking my sin so that I could live in freedom.
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2
Instead of the million other things I try to do and to be, this is what I’m going for this week (and hopefully many more weeks). Forget the rest. I want to live as a dearly love child of God who tries her best to love like Jesus and live like her Father wants her to. Simple, incredibly difficult, and humbling words are all wrapped in one little sentence, and the directive is so clear. Help me Lord, to be more like you want me to be, to love people like you do, and to live as your child.
and his love never quits.”
“Come, follow me, ” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him.
I went back to work last Thursday after 2 months fo sabbatical. The time off was wonderful and much needed, and going back has been difficult. I have been playing catch over the last week, and I have this feeling I will never get there. This verse reminds me of my calling and keeps my mind on Jesus, instead of on my frustrations. I am called to follow Him, and He has made me a fisher of me, teenagers in particular. I trust Him, and follow Him into the sea of the middle and high schools, until He calls me elsewhere.
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.
This verse has always spoken to me of the way God’s love covers me. He swept over me with His love, relentless like the waves, and for that I’m forever grateful. There is a song by Pat Green that reminds me of God’s pursuit of me.
“be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love; just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God.”
how do we become imitators of God?
if my identity comes from being a child of God, a dearly loved child, how then should i live my life?
i am constantly trying to figure out a way to live like Jesus, and mostly failing at it. in the midst of my selfish existence, i hope i can find a way to live a life of love. i’m guessing it will be something i’ll be trying to figure out for the rest of my life. so much of our world is about hate, anger, greed, lust, and violence. i just want to be about love.