John Piper further notes that “Jesus gets very specific about what is flowing between the vine and the branch. He mentions words — His words — His love, and His joy. John 15:7 says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” And John 15:9 states, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” Also, John 15:11 says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
When we unpack this Scripture, it seems that part of the act of “abiding” is receiving the love of Jesus. For the Father and his people, and the joy that Jesus has in the Father and in us.
A hard truth within my own life is that I don’t always have the compassion I know I should have for others. I’ve often prayed that God would deepen my sympathy. Still, if I understand these Scripture truths correctly, then my lack of compassion could be the result of not being daily connected to the vine.
How about you? Do you sometimes wrestle with a lack of sympathy and love for others? If so, why do you feel your compassion and love is not deeper?
The same could be said about joy. Do you live each day from a platform or context of joy? If not, why do you believe such joy in your life is sometimes lacking?
If you believe that your compassion and joy are lacking in terms of what it could or should be, spend some time in prayer today, asking God to reveal the reasons why. Could it be that “His words” are not taking root in your soul and then being translated into action? Within your prayer time, be willing to face some hard truth about yourself. Confess any sin that may be standing as a roadblock to Christ’s life-giving nourishment flowing in and through you. Admit that nothing of any spiritual, eternal significance is possible apart from abiding in Christ. Understand that outside of abiding, Christ’s love and joy will not flow through you. Are there action steps you need to take today to discover this reservoir of love and joy?
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