Our Bible verse for today: “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” John 15:5 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The life of Jesus flows in you and works through you.”
At this point in our discussion about “living a life of love” we’re still learning how to love ourselves. We’ve spent some time gaining a better understanding of the truth that God loves us, but the next step is to really begin to love ourselves as God loves us. Yesterday we learned from Galatians 2:20 that Christ lives in us and that when the Father looks at you, He sees His beloved Son alive in you. That causes His heart to melt and His love to just overflow. Today we will think a little more about what the life of Christ in us really means and how that should impact how we feel about ourselves.
In John 15:5 Jesus used the illustration of a grape vine and its branches to help us understand our relationship with Him. Just as the life of the vine flows through the branches, and the fruit of the vine is produced out of the branches, so too the life of Jesus flows in and through His followers, and His fruit is produced in the world through the lives of His followers.
That’s true of you and of me. The life of Jesus is in you, it is flowing through you, and the fruit of Jesus is being produced in and through your life. What is that fruit? Paul describes it in Galatians 5:22-23: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” That’s what Jesus is doing in you and through you. As you continue to grow in your relationship with Him those attributes become more and more a part of who you are as a person, and they become more and more what other people experience as a result of being around you.
You are a conduit through which the fruit of Jesus flows to a hurting and bleeding world! People are blessed and their lives are better because of Jesus in your life. That should cause you to feel pretty good about yourself. Not only are you blessed because Jesus is in your life, but others are blessed because Jesus is in your life! That’s how God sees you. You are a healthy extension of His Son’s life in this world.
We have to learn to see ourselves as God sees us, and then we have to rest in the reality of that identity – every minute of every hour of every day. You are an extension of the life of Christ in this world, and the world is a better place because of it.