Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lord I'm Coming Home"1 (Lyrics)
John 15:5-6 – I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. (NIV)
Computers! Computers! Computers! They are everywhere and an integral part of almost everyone's life. This has all happened within my lifespan, and probably within yours also.
It may be that, like me, you feel less knowledgeable about computers than your children and certainly less so than your grandchildren.
Recently, I was unable to get my computer working properly. The message kept coming up telling me that I wasn't connected to the Internet.
I quickly checked the many connecting wires from the back of the central processing unit (CPU) and all seemed to be in order. But again, the same message.
I then tried the old faithful activity and turned off the main power source. After leaving it to rest for awhile, I turned the main power source on. But still no success.
On the advice of my daughter, I then carefully disconnected and reconnected the many wires from the back of the CPU. When I reconnected the Internet wire, I heard a click that indicated a firm connection.
Suddenly, all worked perfectly. Previously, I had thought that I was connected, but I was not! Because of a careless examination of my connections, my computer was useless!
That experience brought to mind two lessons that I believe Jesus taught us in today's illustration of the vine.
Firstly, without our connection to the source of our power we are useless. The main power source for the computer is electricity. Whether it be through the wall plug or a battery or solar power or whatever, it must be connected. Similarly, as a branch showing the love of Jesus, we must be strongly connected to Him so that His love can flow through us.
Secondly, we can be fooled into thinking that we are connected to Jesus when we are not. We can be going through the motions of doing what we think is right, but if we are not firmly connected to Jesus, our Power Source, we will soon be like a separated branch. In time, we wither away, and in God's time, like the withered branch, we will be cast away and die.
The first lesson of the necessity of being connected to all my power sources came easily to me.
The second lesson, however, was more subtle but perhaps even more important. It is relatively easy to behave as if one is properly connected with Jesus. We can sometimes fool others, and perhaps more importantly, even fool ourselves into thinking that we have firm a connection.
But to be fruitful, you and I both must be firmly rooted and completely connected to our true source of power. Fortunately, we have been provided with two powerful tools to maintain a firm connection: regular study of the Bible and consistent time spent in prayer.
Prayer: Dear Father, help us to see clearly the strength of our connection to You through the gift of Your Son, and help us to maintain that connection. In His name, we pray. Amen.