Note from Jesus
Before I ascended to the Father, I promised My disciples that I would send the Spirit. I promised I would pour out the Spirit on people with faith in Me as they were baptized into Me (John 7:37-39; Titus 3:3-7). On the night I was betrayed, I reiterated this promise over and over again as I talked to My closest disciples about the Spirit being their Helper when I was gone (John chapters 14-16). The Helper's presence would be their assurance that We — Father, Son, and Spirit — make our home in you and We will never leave or forsake you. I want you to know that My promise to send the Helper is for you, too.
In your world, a house can have many power outlets. However, the electric devices and appliances won't be able to fulfill their purposes unless they are connected to the power source. The same is true for the work of the Spirit in your life. The Helper is My power source for you. You need the Spirit's presence and power in your life to fulfill your purpose as My disciple. I emphasized that your part of this process is to love Me and obey what I call you to do:
The one who loves Me will do the things I have commanded. My Father loves everyone who loves Me; and I will love you and reveal My heart, will, and nature to you.
Your obedience, your commitment to abide in Me and live for Me, connects you to that power source found in the Helper's presence.
Today's verses that you find below remind you to stay connected to Me. Our relationship is organic and relational, not mechanical or just organizational. You abide in Me. I am your vine. You are My branch. There is no source of true life for a literal branch unless it remains connected to the vine, and there is no everlasting source of life in you unless you remain connected to Me! You remain connected to Me — you connect to the power source of the Holy Spirit, the Helper I've sent to you — when you choose to love.
In My earthly ministry, I taught the importance of love being the guiding star in your life as you seek to live for Me:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, a group of Pharisees met to consider new questions that might trip up Jesus. A legal expert thought of one that would certainly stump Him.
Teacher, of all the laws, which commandment is the greatest?Jesus (quoting Scripture):
"Love the Eternal One your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is nearly as important, "Love your neighbor as yourself." The rest of the law, and all the teachings of the prophets, are but variations on these themes.(Matthew 22:34-40)
You remain connected to Me when you love Us — Father, Son, and Spirit — with all your heart, soul, and mind and when you share that love with others. When you love Us, you live in My love as well as share My love with everyone with whom you interact. The Spirit within you will be your source of a never-ending supply of this love (Romans 5:5)
So stay connected to Me and to each other by loving and by living in My love. Keep the love flowing!
Verses to Live
The image of the vine and branches is a powerful one that illustrates a spiritual truth you must not neglect: you must remain connected to Me!
I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. My Father examines every branch in Me and cuts away those who do not bear fruit. He leaves those bearing fruit and carefully prunes them so that they will bear more fruit; already you are clean because you have heard My voice. Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me.
I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is like a branch that is tossed out and shrivels up and is later gathered to be tossed into the fire to burn. If you abide in Me and My voice abides in you, anything you ask will come to pass for you. Your abundant growth and your faithfulness as My followers will bring glory to the Father.
I have loved you as the Father has loved Me. Abide in My love. Follow My example in obeying the Father's commandments and receiving His love. If you obey My commandments, you will stay in My love. I want you to know the delight I experience, to find ultimate satisfaction, which is why I am telling you all of this.
My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you. There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends. You celebrate our friendship if you obey this command. I don't call you servants any longer; servants don't know what the master is doing, but I have told you everything the Father has said to Me. I call you friends. You did not choose Me. I chose you, and I orchestrated all of this so that you would be sent out and bear great and perpetual fruit. As you do this, anything you ask the Father in My name will be done. This is My command to you: love one another.
Response in Prayer
O God, please move through the Holy Spirit within me and help me love others ever more completely, ever more consistently, until my love fully reflects and embodies the righteous character and gracious compassion of Your love. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.