18th July 2020
'apart from me you can do nothing.'
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. John 15:5
God wants every part of our lives to be connected to him.
And he tells us that as this happens,
as we have our lives connected with him,
we will bear much fruit.
A few verses later Jesus directly connected that fruit to prayer.
In John 15:16, Jesus goes on to say
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you
and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit -
fruit that will last -
and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
If we are connected to God and live as he wants us to,
Jesus says we will bear much fruit - prayer fruit.
Think about a fruit tree for a moment;
the leaves come out because the branches are attached to the main body of the tree.
In the Spring those branches will blossom,
and from those blossoms comes the fruit.
But if something happens and the branch is not solidly connected to the tree,
it will probably not produce any fruit at all.
There may be a few leaves,
but the blossoms won't come and there won't be any fruit;
it may even die.
The blossoms and healthy fruit only come if the branch is fully connected.
God wants us to be connected to him in every part of our lives
and when this happens our prayers will be in line with his wishes,
and we can be confident he will answer;
although perhaps not as we expect!
But how do we connect with God and, even more important,
stay connected to him?
If we want a close relationship with God it is important to realise
just how much he wants to have a close relationship with us.
This is an amazing truth when we stop and think about it,
he is the Almighty God and yet he wants to have a close relationship with us.
Romans 5:11 (NLT) says,
11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship
with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Through Jesus, God made us to be his friends!
So, connecting with God starts with remembering he wants to be our closest friend.
Right now God is with us, he is everywhere we go,
he is at our jobs, in our homes.
He is with us wherever we may be, even in the hardest times of our lives.
The last part of Hebrews 13:5 says,
'For he [Jesus].himself has said,
'I will never leave you or forsake you.'
There was a monk in the seventeenth century named Brother Lawrence
who wrote a book called The Practice of the Presence of God.
In the monastery where he lived there were chimes that rang every hour,
and Brother Lawrence would use that as a reminder to connect with God.
Is there a way to help us connect with God throughout the day,
not just for morning and evening prayers?
To help us commune with him, practicing being in his presence
as we go about our daily lives?
God is waiting for us to recognise and accept him now.