----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Rob Smith <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:23 AM
John 15 takes us past the answers to a troubled heart provided by John 14 and leads us to fruitful living. And the key is to "abide" in Christ.
Here is a quote from verses 4 and 5: " 4 Abide in me, and I in you. 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."
It occurs to me that a natural branch has no choice as to whether it will abide in the vine. That's how it is made...all one living thing. But we have choice on a daily basis as to where we will take our nourishment from. It seems to me that if we don't purpose to remain/abide in the Lord we drift away. And what does it mean to abide anyhow?
A good test might be to consider where our thoughts go as we begin our day. As concerns and issues begin to compete for our attention do we corral them and take them to the Lord? In his second letter to the Corinthians the apostle Paul used this phrase regarding his thoughts: "take every thought captive to obey Christ" (from chapter 10, verse 5). Abiding means in part to hold up the thoughts that enter our minds to the mind of Christ that He might shine light on them.
Matthew 6:25-33 provides Jesus' teaching on not worrying about food or clothing...the practical issues of life that often capture our minds and lead us from abiding in him. He said that the key is to start with Him and not the worries. "33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
Perhaps where we start each day has a lot to do with where we remain during the day.