The call to me this year and the challenge is to submit myself to the cutting and pruning of God as He reveals those things in my life that are not fruitful that I might bear more fruit. I pray it might be a call and challenge to you as well.
In the last devotion, we discovered the repetition of the phrase “remain in” or “abide” as key to producing fruit. Here is the entire passage. "ABIDE in Me, and I in you. 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. Whoever ABIDES in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not ABIDE in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you ABIDE in me, and my words ABIDE in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. ABIDE in my love. 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 15:4-10
Now, I know that was long and hopefully you didn’t just skim over it. I have a bad habit of doing that when I have heard something before, but then I miss seeing something fresh and anew. We as artists are supposed to be those that see things fresh and anew, so if you don’t have time to read it thoroughly right now, maybe come back to it when you do.
As mentioned last week, one of the meanings of this rich word "abide" is to dwell, which takes me to John 14:23 where Jesus says, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and the Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our HOME with him.” Ponder on the words, “make our home with him” . . . with you, with me! Think of having your best friend sitting with you on a cold winter morning, sipping coffee, looking out at the world and seeing it with new eyes, spiritual eyes. This takes place as He indwells us and we continue to dwell in His Word and spend time in prayer.
Have a blessed week!Paul LaBathe