August 20

This is a wonderful time of the year. Two of our daughter’s planted gardens this spring. They have worked hard to water them, and to pull weeds all throughout the summer months. As we near the fall months, they are enjoying the blessings of all their hard work. Fresh vegetables adorn their tables, as well as ours! Those fresh vegetables did not simply appear out of thin air. They are the result of a great deal of effort on the part of these two families hard work.

Our Christian lives are not much different. If we put in the work it takes to stay connected to Jesus Christ, we are promised that there will be fruit that will grow in our lives. In John 15 Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). Seems simple … doesn’t it? However, we have an enemy that bristles it’s back at the thought of us yielding, and being connected to Jesus in this way.

Oh … you thought I was talking about the Devil? No … I am talking about the enemy that we look at in the mirror each morning. You see, staying connected to the Vine (Jesus Christ), requires the branch (you and me) to detach ourselves from anything, and anyone else that would pull us away from Him. This requires sacrifice! This requires not allowing anything, or anyone else to become an idol to us. This requires time and effort to remain firmly attached to Jesus.

We are in Tennessee right now for a time of fellowship and refreshment with our entire Silent Word Ministry team. Our leadership team will attempt to challenge and encourage our missionaries for the coming year ahead. Our theme for the week is the word, connected. As I am making preparation for my part of the meetings that are upcoming, I read this chapter this morning in my devotions. I was struck with the words, much fruit. Jesus Christ urged His disciples (and us) to remain firmly attached to Him so that much fruit will come from our lives.

Without this connection with Christ, we will produce, no fruit. God’s desire has never been for you and me to remain fallow (barren, without fruit). His desire is for us to produce fruit … fruit that remains (John 15:16) … much fruit! Let’s examine our hearts today. Is there evidence of spiritual fruit growing, or is the ground barren and fallow? Stay connected and grow!

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