Day 2 // Connected
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete (John 15:1-11).
Life is full of distractions. Some are good because they take our mind away from the stressors of our day or season for even a short time, giving us room to rest. At other times, distractions get us into trouble. They keep us from doing what needs to be done or from becoming the person we can/should become. Even ministry demands can become unnecessary and destructive distractions in our lives. The passage in John reminds us of the importance of staying connected to our life source. Be cautious of allowing demands or distractions to break your connection.
Church planting is demanding. Because of its never-ending demands, it is easy to become anxious and concerned about our laundry list of good things and, as a result, miss the best things. God desires us to be in close relationship with him every step of the way. He knows the best and safest place for us to exist is under his authority. Apart from him, we can do nothing, the church can do nothing.
Pray for our church planters. Specifically pray that church planting teams together stay connected to the vine. Pray for oneness and unity as they work toward the mission God has called them to accomplish. Are you living in a close relationship with God? What needs to be added and what needs to go away to maintain a strong connection?
As your word reminds us, “apart from you, we can do nothing.” Father, I pray for our church planters and their teams. First, help them stay focused and connected to you as their lifeline. Second, move to bind them together in great unity that will have a lasting impact on their city and surrounding communities. Let nothing distract them from the mission to which you have called them. In the name of Jesus I pray! Amen.