Remain in me.

We are just home from home church with the Klein's. It still remains my favourite time of the fortnight when we can meet and sing and read God’s word and share and prayer in English together as Gods family. Today we read John 15:1-17 the story of the vine and the branches.

The Vine and the Branches

 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
   5 “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. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
   9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 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. 17 This is my command: Love each other.”

We then listened to a talk by Naomi Reed []. Briefly, Naomi is an Australian lady that spent some time in Nepal as a Missionary with her husband and three sons. She has written a couple of books about her time, which I have read.

Anyway, it could have been me talking. She spoke of the struggles she had on the mission field between ‘doing’ and ‘being’. Of the feeling of being stuck at home with her three boys home schooling when she should have been ‘doing’ so much more. She spoke of the guilt of feeling supported by people at home and so feeling as though she must show a good return for her work. She spoke of the days when she questioned why she was even there.
Then she spoke of a day where God used her, in a time when she was having a day off and not even trying to do any ‘work’. This is when God put people in her path to share the word of God with.

She spoke also of a time of frustration, when the poverty and the needs and the feeling she should do more were starting to overwhelm her and she turned to her bible and read John 15. She was touched by the words God spoke to her, particularly verse 4 ‘Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.’ We are nothing without God; we can do nothing without God. All the work and the conversations and the helping are nothing without God. It is HIS strength and it is HIS mercy that allows me to be here and to make things happen here. Without God I am nothing. The only thing I NEED to do is to REMAIN IN HIM.

Whether I am in Murgwanza home schooling my boys, teaching English to students or playing football with the local youth I need to remain in Him. Whether I am in Sydney working at North Shore or doing the shopping at Westfield Hornsby or picking up my boys from school, I need to remain in Him.

Thank you Kleins for home church, thank you Naomi for your words of encouragement and wisdom and thank you Jesus that you sent your son to die for me. Amen.


Time Difference

We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own.~

Ben Sweetland
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