You must go on growing in me and I will grow in you.
For just as the branch cannot bear any fruit unless it shares
the life of the vine, so you can produce nothing unless you go on growing in me.
John 15:4 PH
This whole devotional resonated within my heart today and I want to share it with you. This is a true story by Cynthia Heald. May it touch your heart too.
A small seashell sits on my desk. I found it years ago while looking for unusual shells. At first glance it seems quite ordinary, but close inspection reveals that it is actually two shells–a perfectly formed, smaller one completely encased by a larger one.
When I discovered this shell, I was captivated by how it pictures the concept of abiding in Christ. The small shell, because it is permanently fastened to the larger shell, is completely protected and secure.
This a wonderful visual image of abiding–staying remaining, holding on to, continuing, dwelling, trusting.
I keep this shell as a reminder of the value of staying close to the Lord, but Jesus uses the illustration of a living vine and its branches to teach us about abiding. He tells us that he alone is the source of abundance and growth.
We are the branches, and we must stay firmly connected to the Vine in order to mature. If a branch is broken off from the Vine, it will wither. If a branch is simply near the Vine without being attached to it, it will never flourish. Only as the branch remains united with the trunk can fruit be produced.
Abiding in Christ is deciding to let Christ be our Source, surrendering our life for His life, seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, trusting Him to provide all that we need.
It is choosing each day to spend time with Him in His Word and in conversation with Him. To abide in Christ is to attach our delicate, fragile selves firmly and permanently into the Vine in order to receive His strength and security.
Jesus calls each of us to abide in Him. “Stay connected to Me,” He invites us. As we choose to line in Him, He lives in us–and enables us to bear the lovely fruit of His character.
“Have you ever thought what a wonderful privilege it is that
everyone each day and each hour of the day has the liberty of
asking God to meet him in the inner chamber and to hear
what He has to say? We should image that every
Christian would use such a privilege gladly and faithfully.”
REFLECT: In what areas of my life do I especially need the security of abiding in Christ?
Lord, I am just like the little shell. I am fragile and I need the protection and security that only You can give. I am humbled by your invitation to stay firmly connected to You. Thank you for Your presence in my life. May I faithfully abide in You. AMEN