John 15:1-7 (NRSV)

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes  to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed  by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.   

Romans 6:23 (NRSV)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

DEVOTION – L. Margaret Tansley (Ontario, Canada)

Some months ago I was given a geranium plant with four large red-orange flower clusters.  In time they faded away.  For weeks I had only a plant with green leaves.  I was disappointed because there were no blossoms.  Then I thought, I’ll add some plant food to the water.  Soon I saw a short stem with buds; a few days later, I saw more.  In a few weeks there were 10 clusters of buds on six-inch-stems.  What a glorious display when all the buds fully developed!

Then it occurred to me that our lives can be like that.  When we follow Jesus’ teachings and practice them, we absorb qualities that provide an added dimension of life. This is God’s to us for a life more abundant and fulfilling than we could ever imagine.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: We are made in the likeness of God with a potential for inner, spiritual growth.

PRAYER: Thank you, O God, for revealing your very self to us in Jesus.  What an awesome gift that through Jesus we find our lives fulfilled as we walk the road that leads us to you.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.