John 15:1-8 (NIV)

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.   

John 15:6 (NIV)

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.   

DEVOTION – Betty L. Wigal (West Virginia)

West Virginia was recently hit by a big storm with high, damaging winds.  Our area was one of the most severely affected, with several trees damaged and others blown down.

A week later, I noticed that in such a short time the leaves of the trees left unattended had turned brown and were dying.  Once they were cut off from their source of life, they were unable to live and continue to grow.

I was reminded that this is true of my spiritual life and relationship with God.  I am like the brown, wilted leaves on the trees when I fail to stay faithful with my Bible study, prayer life, active worship, and interaction with other Christians.  I have become removed from the source of life-Jesus Christ and my relationship with God.  This reminded me of how important spiritual disciplines are in helping me remain faithful.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What practices keep me connected to Christ?

PRAYER: O Holy One, help us remain connected to you so we can bear much fruit.  We want to be your disciples and show your glory.  Amen.