Dear Sisters,

You are chosen and appointed for a very important mission – to bear fruit that will last.  Jesus said, “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 15:16, 5).  Do you want to fulfill God's purpose in your life?  Abide in Him.  It will be impossible to fail.

Think about what this passage really means.  First, of course, it means that we are to draw our sustenance from Christ, as the branches and leaves draw their nourishment from the trunk.  As we abide in Him, and study His word, we will gain insight and wisdom for the issues of life.  As His Word abides in us, He abides in us and gives us everything we need for life and godliness and good success (2 Peter 1:3; Psalm 1:3).

This verse goes well beyond this initial insight, however.  Where is the fruit of the vine?  It's at the end of the branches, right?  If we are the branches, then the fruit sprouts forth from us.  So, Jesus is telling us to be His fruit, to bear His fruit, to be provision for those around us, and we can be as long as we remain connected to Him.  If we fail to stay connected to Him, immersed in His Word, our fruit dries up, and we become of little help to those around us.  He is the foundation, but the beauty is in the fruit.  Now, of course, I am not saying there is not beauty in Christ.  Of course not!  He is the source of our beauty, but I believe He wants us to see the beauty that we produce for those around us when we stay connected to the vine.  Why does He make the fruit so beautiful...to attract the world.  You are the joy they need; you are the love; you are the peace; you are the patience; you are the power...because Christ is your source.  He dwells in you to empower you and to empower everyone in your path with His sustenance.  How will they hear lest they have a preacher (Romans 10:14)?  How will they be drawn, lest they see your fruit?

Didn't Jesus say to the disciples, “You give them something to eat (Mt. 14:13-16; Lk. 9:10-16)”?  Yes.  That's just what He said.  He has left us with a great responsibility and privilege.  We are the distributors of the bread, of His bounty.  We are the walkers on water.  In other words, we are the demonstration of the miracles and the fruit that will draw the lost to seek Him.  When Jesus broke the bread from a small lunch of five loaves and two fish to feed the thousands, He handed it to the disciples, and in their hands, it was multiplied to meet the needs of the multitude (Mt. 14:13-21).  Peter walked on the water, because Jesus told Him to come to Him (Mt. 14:22-29).  We receive all we need for ourselves and others when we “come to Him,” when we abide in Him, when we remain connected to the vine.  Then He grows in us the fruit for the needs of the multitude, and it is our responsibility to pass it along.

Don't let the devil or the world convince you that you don't have what it takes.  You do.  Jesus makes sure of it.  Stay immersed in His Word; stay connected to Him in prayer; build yourself up by surrounding yourself with strong, Word-based friends who will help you see Jesus through the issues of life.  If you are saved, you are His disciple, and you have the answers people are looking for.  He makes you strong and equipped, and you make yourself ready to always give an answer for the hope that is within you when you study His Word (1 Peter 3:15).

I encourage you this week to make a new commitment to explore God's Word, to be a diligent student.  Ask God to reveal it to you afresh, to give you new revelations and insights for this age.  He will show you new and exciting things and allow you to be the miracle someone is looking for.

Blessings,

Lisa Marie

If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life and desire to, pray this:  Dear God, I believe that Jesus is your Son, that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected for my redemption.  I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life.  I thank you for forgiving me and for filling me with Your Holy Spirit.  I thank You that I am Your child, that You are my Father, and that You have great things planned for me.  Amen.

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