Are you thriving or withering away? Part 1

AmberOBrien"

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in Him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.  John 15:5 

Dear Sweet Sister:

Have you ever been in a vineyard? During a visit to Napa Valley to celebrate my husband’s Jubilee birthday, I had the privilege of touring a working vineyard.

Jesus uses the grape vine as an allegory to show us how He wants our relationship to be with Him and thus I excitedly peppered the tour guide with lots of questions so I could understand better this desired relationship.

Jesus the vine is to be our source for food and water

The vine is similar to the trunk of a tree and all the nutrients and water come up out of the vine to feed the branches. Jesus is to be our one true source that we cling to throughout the day for refreshment, comfort, encouragement, accountability and companionship.

A young lady shared with me this morning of how easy it is for her to just turn on the TV rather than to spend time reading the Bible and praying.

What is drawing your attention away? A branch seperated from the vine will eventually wither up and die. How can we thrive instead and bear much fruit?

I personally have found that I need to set boundaries to ensure that I remain close to Jesus.

At the start of the day….I have decided to NOT look at emails, the news or Facebook until I have had sweet time with Jesus.  I have a special chair in a room away from my bed and once I make my morning coffee and open my journal and Bible, our date begins.

In the journal I write down the ACTS (adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplications ) so to structure my time and keep my thoughts from wandering.  I try to follow a study such as first5.org or meditate on a small portion of the Bible. I am learning to listen and just sit and enjoy the presence of God. You were created for God’s pleasure and He truly wants to spend time with you.

Years ago, I would struggle to sit for too long, but as time has passed I now spend longer and longer during my morning date with Jesus and ironically I now struggle with having to leave as it is my favorite part of the day.

A fruitful branch is a joyful branch.