Think about the circle of life, how things Grow and develop. Can a leaf even begin to grow without a branch? What about a branch, can it develop a leaf without first growing from the truck of the tree? Can the tree even begin to become big and strong without there first being a seed and careful watch over it's growth? How do we, like the tree, grow in our lives? Do we let God be at the centre of our lives and direct our every move? I know for myself, I like to be in control and take charge. Maybe something to do instead would be to sit back, ask God to let me be humble and let someone else take the lead. Where can you ask God to be rooted?
Today's Gospel states:'Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you Abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love' (John 15:4-10).
In today's Gospel Jesus tells us that we cannot bear fruit by ourself. This makes sense right? We can't grow without water and sunlight if we're to bloom, so how can we hope to grow happily without God by our side? Take some time today to ask God to be rooted in your life and write down a few ideas about things you can do daily to praise, pray and embrace God's love.
Today's prayer comes from 'Crosswalk' a prayer for God being at the centre:
Father, I pray that You will visit us, and make Your Presence known in my life and in my city. Give me faith to believe that You can change my city through prayer and through acts of love and compassion. Let Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Help me to cultivate Your presence in my life. I choose to partner with You for transformation in my city. Help me to contend for my city in prayer with others. Remove the distractions in my life that keep me from Your presence [Repent of any distractions in your life]. I repent of any pride or personal idols that have taken me away from having you in first place and being completely Yours (Name them one by one - i.e. television material possessions, food, sports, work, etc.]. Take away any luke-warmness in my heart and set me on fire for You.
I thank You for the new spiritual identity and authority You will bring into my city as I pray and as I reach out to others. Remove the compromise and complacency in my life. I want to be a clean vessel, bringing light into the darkness and carrying Your presence wherever I go. I want to come up higher around Your throne. I want to sit with You in heavenly places. I ask that Your authority would impact my city. You say in Jeremiah 33:9: “Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.”
I want to worship only You. Take me deeper in my prayer life and in intimacy with You. Help me to walk in Your light and holiness. I want to know You more. “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord” (Psalm 89:15). Give me joy in Your presence and help me to bring joy into the lives of others. “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11). I want to dwell in Your house and gaze on Your beauty. I want to seek Your face. “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple… Hear my voice when I call, O LORD" (Psalm 27:4, 7). In Jesus’ name, amen.