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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
The grapevine is a prolific plant; a single vine bears many grapes. In the Old Testament, grapes symbolized Israel’s fruitfulness in doing God’s work on the earth. In the Passover meal, the fruit of the vine symbolized God’s goodness to his people.
Christians will get plenty of hatred from the world, form each other we need love and support. Do you allow small problems to get in the way of loving other believers? Jesus commands that you love them, and he will give you the strength to do it. (NLT)
John 15:1-17 – [Jesus said] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. And here is how to measure it–the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends. You are my friends if you obey me. I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. I command you to love each other.”
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. — Luke 6:32 (NRSV)
Patricia Wilgis-Patton (Texas) titled her story “HARD TO LOVE;” here is Patricia’s story:
“Jesus teaches his disciples how to live. In John 15:1-9, he uses the image of a vine and its branches to show his followers the importance of abiding in him and allowing him to live through them. In John 15:10-17, Jesus commands his disciples to love one another and to be willing to lay down their lives for one another. His command to us is the same.
“Loving those who love us is easy. We gladly sacrifice our own needs and wants for the sake of those we love and care about: our spouses, children, grandchildren, and friends.
“What about people we don’t love? What about people whose words and actions make loving them difficult? How do we lay down our lives for those who are not our friends or for those who have hurt us with cruel words and actions?
“I have come to believe that setting aside our anger, hurt, and indifference and praying daily for those who have hurt us is one way of laying down our lives for them. This practice allows God to grace us with the ability to show them kindness. Asking God to show us our part, our responsibilities to God and to other people, may be the catalyst we need to restore broken relationships and to strengthen our resolve to serve God in all we do.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will pray for someone I don’t usually pray for.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help us to show your love in all that we say and do. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SOMEONE I FIND DIFFICULT TO LOVE
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
ACCEPT, ACCEPTABLE, ACCEPTANCE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/accept-acceptable-acceptance/
LISTENING, LISTEN: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/listening-listen/
CONFLICT, CONFLICTS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/conflict-conflicts/
HELP, HELPING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/help-helping/
BURDENS, BURDEN: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/burdens-burden/
SUFFERING, SUFFER: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/suffering-suffer/
RESPOND, RESPONSE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/respond-response/
DEPEND, DEPENDENCE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/depend-dependence/
HYPOCRISY, HYPOCRITES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/hypocrisy-hypocrites/
OPINION, OPINIONS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/opinion-opinions/
May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/