February 13, 2023


Devotion for the Week...

In our backyard, just outside my sewing room window, there's a big birch tree. We've had a lot of wind the past few weeks and now there's a scattering of branches broken off the tree stuck in the snow all around that side of the yard. In a few months, we'll gather all the broken branches and twigs to burn in our firepit as part of the regular spring cleanup.

Looking out the window at those branches in the snow last week made me think of Jesus telling His disciples "a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father" (John 15: 4-8).

Those birch branches thrown around my yard won't produce leaves when spring comes this year because they no longer have a connection to the sap running through the tree. Without that sap, they can't do anything.

Likewise, we can't produce spiritual fruit unless we stay connected to Jesus. Without that connection to Him, we can't do anything good. We stay connected through prayer, reading our Bibles, Christian music, meditating on His word, going to church...anything that helps us stay open and receptive to God. What I find interesting is that this isn't a one-and-done kind of thing. Remaining in Him implies continually choosing to stay connected. It's not something with a finish line or an end date, it's a lifestyle of choosing Jesus.
we can't produce spiritual fruit unless we stay connected to Jesus | DevotedQuilter.com
The fruit He refers to is the fruit of the Spirit, "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). When we have an ongoing connection to Him, this fruit grows in our lives as we allow the Spirit to make us more like Jesus. When these things are evident in our lives, it brings glory to God.

Wouldn't you rather be a branch connected to the tree, drawing sap and producing fruit that brings glory to God than a broken branch on the ground, drying up and useless? I know I would!

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