Stay close to Jesus

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Living by faith”
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: “Stay close to Jesus”
Jesus was a master of contemporary illustration. He explained deep spiritual truths by using examples from everyday life that His listeners could easily relate to. In the case of the scene in John 15:5, Jesus and His closest disciples were in a vineyard. At the end of chapter 14 they had completed the event we know as “The Last Supper” and they left that place. Now they are walking through a vineyard on the outskirts of Jerusalem, headed to the Garden of Gethsemane where He would be arrested.
As they were walking, Jesus pointed to the vine and the branches growing off of it and essentially said, “See the grapevine? That’s Me. See the branches growing off of the grapevine? That’s you. Just as the vine lives its life through the branches and produces its fruit through the branches, so too I will live my life through you and I will produce my fruit through you. And, just as the branch must stay firmly attached to the vine in order for the life of the vine to flow through it and the fruit of the vine to be produced, so too you must stay firmly attached to Me. I will live in you and I will live through you, and together we will bless the world with my fruit.”
And there, my friends, is the key to living by faith. Stay close to Jesus. Stay attached at the hip. Walk through life with Him. Don’t break the bond and don’t pull away. As long as you are a healthy branch firmly attached to the vine which is Jesus, His life can flow in you and through you, and His fruit will be produced in your life. It’s when we pull away from Him that we begin to wither and die (spiritually if not physically).
Sadly, there are a lot of withering wilting Christians out there. They are professing Christians who have pulled away from or broken the bond with Jesus, and consequently there’s little of the fruit of the Spirit evident in their lives, as described by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control). There should also be generosity in giving, acts of service to others, and faithful participation in group worship experiences.
All of that comes from the Spirit of Jesus living in you and through you. Don’t lose that. Don’t forfeit it by breaking the essential bond with Him. He is the vine; you are a branch. If you want a fruitful life you will have to stay connected to Him.
The key to living by faith and doing it well is to stay close to Jesus.
God bless,
Pastor Jim 
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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