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What is your relationship with Jesus?

My husband had a automobile accident on August 25 this 12 months. He stopped at a red light when an intoxicated 18-year-old crashed into Dan and two other vehicles. My poor husband has had a migraine day-after-day since that night. He recently underwent facet surgery which is able to hopefully stop migraines or reduce pain. Doctors thought the procedure would bring significant relief in a day or two. There isn’t any. As a result, Dan is exhausted from lack of sleep. I’m undecided I’ve ever seen him so exhausted and drained.

Have you ever felt this manner? Powerless? As when you were disconnected from the source of your power? Jesus calls us to be in communion with Him and with others. But this can only occur if we connect with the fitting source. We cannot obey the words of Jesus without communion with Jesus.

Think with me about all of the complicated, almost unattainable teachings of Jesus.

-Love your neighbor – with some easier, with others harder.

– Pray for many who have hurt you.

-Love your enemy.

– Forgive those that have hurt you.

-Be in tune with everyone.

– Turn the opposite cheek.

And loads more. Jesus’ words sometimes seem unattainable. But test it out. Jesus also said:

Humanly speaking, it’s unattainable. But not with God. With God all things are possible (Mark 10:27).

The unattainable becomes possible once we stay in contact with Jesus. These “unattainable to maintain” commandments of Jesus turn out to be possible once we are in contact with Him. This relationship is central to the lifetime of a follower of Christ. The Bible uses metaphors to assist us see the truth of our relationship with Jesus. The basic metaphor of the Old Testament is the one with which the Jews of Jesus’ time were most familiar.

I’m the true vine and my Father is the gardener (John 15:1).

Image Credit: ©Unsplash/Amos Bar-Zeev

When Jesus said that I’m the true vine, his followers who were well acquainted with the Old Testament would perk up since the line “I’m the true vine” is a quote taken directly from Psalm 80, a psalm that a lot of Jesus’ followers would have known by heart. This Psalm would come to mind since it is built around this vine metaphor.

The psalmist tells a story from the Book of Exodus. He speaks of the nation of Israel and compares it to a vine plant taken from Egypt and planted in a latest land.

You replanted the vines from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted them. You cleared the earth for her, and she or he took root and filled the earth (Psalm 80:8-9).

God cut off Israel, the vine from Egypt, and planted them in fertile latest land, in order that they may grow ripe fruit that the entire world can taste. But the psalmist later says that this vine has died. Israel didn’t commit themselves to the one true God who saved them. They weren’t a people of justice and mercy, caring for strangers, foreigners and the poor. As a result, they were unable to bear fruit to the world.

Despite God’s generosity, patience, and look after his people, they didn’t bear the fruit God desired. That is why the Psalm says that God decides to send one unique and obedient vine to those that will do what Israel and all mankind could never do, and in doing so will renew and save us all.

Here’s what Psalm 80 goes on to say:

So how can we abide in Christ? How can we stay in contact with Jesus? How can we abide in Him?

Check the connection.

There is a giant difference between attempting to bear fruit – doing good – attempting to follow the words of Jesus – and being connected to Him. When we’re connected to Him, His life flows through us, and His life in us bears fruit. Jesus calls this connection “everlasting.”

“Those who abide in me and I in them will bear much fruit. For without me you’ll be able to do nothing. But when you abide in me and my words abide in you, you’ll be able to ask for anything you wish and it can be granted!” (From John 15:4-5).

To abide is to live, abide and abide, which shows us that one other aspect of abiding in Jesus is abiding in Jesus. This commitment to being connected to Jesus implies that we trust, depend on Him, and never stop believing in Him. To abide in Jesus is to abide in Jesus and His teachings.

The Shawnee campus of our latest church, Restore, is positioned in West Shawnee, Kansas, in Mill Valley. Mill Creek flows through this valley and eventually into the Kansas River. A mill operated for years on this creek in the times before electricity. When the water flow was high, the mill could work. When it was low, the mill was useless. When I abide in Christ—I live my life through Him—being continually connected to Him—I can act as a follower of Christ and obey Him. But when the connection is non-existent or intermittent, my obedience can be non-existent or intermittent.

We should be connected to Christ in order that His power flows through us. Check the connection.

Check your organization.

Abiding in Christ is a completely personal reality. Abiding in Christ can be a team game. We must live with other followers of Christ who also abide in Christ. We must live with other followers of Christ who’re also related to Jesus.

Take a take a look at this photo of a healthy set of branches that produce fruit. The healthiest branches grow in clusters. Unfortunately, these clusters are so dense that it’s unattainable to interrupt through them within the wild.

We need other individuals who follow Christ, connected with Him. We’re higher together. This is what Jesus says right after his words about persistence Jesus Christ.

This is my commandment: Love each other as I actually have loved you. There isn’t any greater love than to put down your life for your mates” (cf.John 15:12-13).

You cannot “love one another” when you’re a solo squad. There aren’t any other branches to like or serve.

Following Christ is a team sport. Joining and staying on a team is a person selection, but playing is a team effort and definitely requires team effort to win a game.

Think of a time in your life while you felt the best reference to Christ. When did you are feeling closest to Him? I’m convinced that greater than the overwhelming majority of us, it was a time once we were a part of a bunch of people that follow Christ together.

Check the connection.

Check your organization.

Check your status.

It’s easy to inform when you’re connected to Christ. Jesus tells us test our connection level.

“Those who abide in me and I in them will bear much fruit… When you retain my commandments, you abide in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I actually have told you this stuff in order that you could be crammed with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:510-11.

Two concrete fruits result from being in union with Jesus,

1. Connection breeds obedience.

When we’re connected to Jesus, we are going to obey Him. We will do what He tells us. Sometimes obedience is solely selecting the fitting thing to do, even when it’s hard. But obedience changes as we walk with Christ and stay in contact with Him. Obedience moves from something we must always do to something we would like to do.

2. Connection brings joy.

When the branches bear fruit, they do what God intended them to do. When we stay in contact with Jesus, we do what God made us to do, which supplies us joy – the enjoyment of the spirit of Jesus inside us. Joy is the results of a full connection to Jesus and others and a deep-rooted confidence that God is on top of things.

Check your fruit.

Test your obedience.

Check your joy.

Final Thoughts:

Jesus is the true vine. Life flows from our reference to Him. Life flows from being connected to others connected to Him. Life becomes a fruit of obedience and joy once we are connected to Him.

What is your relationship with Jesus?

Image credit: ©GettyImages/pcess609

Maria Southland she can be the co-founder of Girlfriends in God, a women’s conference and ministry. Maria’s books include: Hope within the midst of depression People with sandpaper Escape from the stress trap Experiencing God’s power in service, A ten-day adventure of trust, You make me so indignant, How to review the bible, Fit for all times, The joy of traveland Life is so on a regular basis. Mary delights in serving as a wife, the mother of their two children, Jared and Danny, and Mimi’s six grandchildren – Jaydan, Lelia, Justus, Hudson, Mo and Nori.

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