Reading: John 15
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit-fruit that will last-and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:16-19)
Reflecting and Thinking
When I think of John 15, I think of Jesus' teaching about the vine and the branches. Actually, there is another section in John 15. It tells why the world hates followers of Jesus. The common point of these two sections is found in the word "connections." What are your connections? What are your primary connections? Is your primary connection to Jesus (the vine), or is your primary connection to the world? Is your connection to the Word or to the World? When you are more comfortable with the world than with Jesus, it shows in your life. Because we live in the world, we are tempted everyday to buy into the world-to become "of" the world and to become like the world. One connection bears eternal fruit-the other bears fruit that is soon gone.
When have you experienced the hatred, disdain, or rejection of the world? How does it feel to know that Jesus calls you his friend? Does it make you want an even closer friendship? What can you do today to be a fruitful branch, firmly connected to the vine?
Father God, thank you for your care and desire to comfort me as I live in this world. Keep me firmly connected to the vine; help be avoid the temptation to connect to the world. In Jesus' name I pray for strength and power, protection and faithfulness, Amen.