Every Christian I know wants to live a healthy and effective life for Jesus. The key to this healthy life, the key to this healing life, the key to succeeding in this is practicing His presence, abiding in him. Abiding in Christ is foundational to centering your whole life around God. Our efforts at tapping into Savior Christ’s healing presence and power is what will allow you to bear good fruit in this life. It is my hope that after today we are more aware, we are more equipped, and we are more empowered to live out a life centered on the healing presence of God.
John 15:1-8J.B. Phillips New Testament
Jesus teaches union with himself
15 1-8 “I am the real vine, my Father is the vinedresser. He removes any of my branches which are not bearing fruit and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit to increase its yield. Now, you have already been pruned by my words. You must go on growing in me and I will grow in you. For just as the branch cannot bear any fruit unless it shares the life of the vine, so you can produce nothing unless you go on growing in me. I am the vine itself; you are the branches. It is the man who shares my life and whose life I share who proves fruitful. For the plain fact is that apart from me you can do nothing at all. The man who does not share my life is like a branch that is broken off and withers away. He becomes just like the dry sticks that men pick up and use for the firewood. But if you live your life in me, and my words live in your hearts, you can ask for whatever you like, and it will come true for you. This is how my Father will be glorified—in your becoming [healthy and] fruitful and being my disciples.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
So often out of a right desire to do good and God-honoring works we try too hard and force fruit out of ourselves without taking the time to rest and receive the healing nutrients we can only get from abiding in our heavenly Father. A branch disconnected from an apple tree can no more produce good apples than you and I can do good works apart from our continual abiding in the love, grace, and healing presence of God. Without truly centering our lives around meeting with God on a secluded park bench far away from the deepest uncivility of our world, we’ll never get to producing the healthy fruit we were created to make.
John 15:1-5 New American Standard Bible
Jesus Is the Vine—Followers Are Branches
15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He [a]prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already [b]clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in Me, [c]and I in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit [d]of itself [e]but must remain in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him [f]bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
God’s heart is for us to abide in him all day, every day. How incredible is that! You and I can graft ourselves every day into the perfect, good, and powerfully connected vine of our healing heavenly Father. We can wake up every day, open our hearts to God, practice His presence, daily acknowledge Him, daily sit, pray with Him and live out of the union afforded us by the powerful sacrifice of Jesus.
Rather than striving to do good works from the moment our feet hit the ground, we must take time to be loved by our heavenly Father.
Rather than making our own opportunities to serve God, we must allow him to guide us to the healing works he’s set out for us.
Rather than trying to lead others to Jesus by our own efforts, we must simply live openly and honestly with others, thereby revealing God’s heart to meet with those who are broken and in need of him.
And rather than living as if God has left us to our own unhealthy devices, we must acknowledge our healing union with the Holy Spirit in every moment, thereby allowing his loving presence to permeate inside everything we do.
James 2:21-26 The Message
21-24 Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham “made right with God by works” when he placed his son Isaac on the sacrificial altar? Isn’t it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are “works of faith”? The full meaning of “believe” in the Scripture sentence, “Abraham believed God and was set right with God,” includes his action. It’s that weave of believing and acting that got Abraham named “God’s friend.” Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works?
25-26 The same with Rahab, the Jericho harlot. Wasn’t her action in hiding God’s spies and helping them escape—that seamless unity of believing and doing—what counted with God? The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse.
James 2:26 teaches, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” Connect yourself to the wonderful vine of Jesus today. Center your life around meeting with him. It’s only in abiding in God that your faith will produce works that are alive, eternal, filled with the transformational, healing and restoring power of God’s Spirit. May you discover the freedom and love available to you in continual communion with your heavenly Father today.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Take some time to heal yourself with Prayer
1. Meditate and Ponder upon the undeniable importance of abiding in the vine. Be healed! Allow Scripture to stir up your desires to rest in God today.
Psalm 23:1-3 The Message
23 1-3 God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh[a]
and refreshment[b] to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10 then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine. Proverbs 3:5-10
“Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed, our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3
2. Where have you been striving too hard to do too many good works apart from the abiding presence of your Creator? What parts of your life need to have a greater connection to the love of God? What part of your life need His healing?
3. Take time to rest in the presence of God. Abide in him. Don’t look to or think about the things YOU set before you today. There will be plenty of time for tasks and relationships. Focus all your attention on the reality of God’s nearness and open your heart to receive all the love he has for you in this EXACTING moment.