“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
I’ve been thinking about this verse as I take baby steps toward a deeper devotional life. Each day I have paused my routine long enough to read a few chapters and pray, I’ve noticed God shaping my life according to His word. I think about things I wouldn’t think of otherwise, and I am reminded that just as I can stop moving long enough to read scripture, I can pause my self-focused thoughts long enough to appreciate the people God has placed in my life.
Scripture changes us. Prayer changes us. The Holy Spirit changes us, especially when we pause to listen to Him.
Today I read John chapters 14 and 15. Grab your Bible or pull up Bible Gateway and listen as Jesus offers words of comfort to His followers. Take note of how Jesus speaks of: love, the commandments, and the Holy Spirit (or Advocate).
What encouragements are offered to Jesus’s followers?
What challenges does Jesus give us?
Notice that Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit in both chapters. What is the relationship between God’s spirit, loving others, loving God, and obeying the commandments? Draw a diagram, if you wish.
Today, the Holy Spirit is teaching me that no level of knowledge can replace time abiding with Him. When we quiet our own thoughts, God’s spirit reminds us how we can seek Him and His Kingdom above all else. He gives us the strength to obey His commandments, and the humility to admit that God’s Law is offered to us in love, as an invitation into relationship with our Creator.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13
I’m excited for us to reflect on God’s commandments more in the coming weeks. In the meantime, let yourself get distracted from your distractions.
Stop, read, listen. Don’t forget to take time today for God to change you.