Thrive and Serve

Written by Shelaine Strom

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“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.” (John 15:5)

The wooden wisteria frame at the back of our yard provides the perfect arms to hold hanging baskets. “I suppose you’ve already seen what I need to confess,” my husband smiled, pointing to a fuchsia with brown, withered leaves and blooms that hung lifeless on the limp branch.

Bill had inadvertently stepped on and snapped off the strand while the baskets were down for feeding. He jammed the detached piece into the soil and hoped for the best. Initially the stem blended into the flowering masses and passed for a living, viable part of the plant. It didn’t take long though for the shriveling to begin. Only being near the source of life did not provide the nutrients necessary to flourish and bloom.

And so it is with us and Jesus. We can attend church and plant ourselves near the Source but if we aren’t directly attached to Him, we also wither. As I look at my basket, I’m reminded how many individual strands and blooms come together to make the beautiful whole. When each member of the body of Christ – the church – draws deeply from an individual connection with Him, we can come together and thrive.

Are you connected to the Vine and plugged into a body of believers?

Father, please nourish my soul that I may be a thriving member of Your body and faithfully serve You and others. Amen.

Action Step: Ask God to show you one way you can serve someone today.

Resource: CoJourners is a 28-day devotional designed to equip you to connect others to the True Vine.

6 Responses to “Thrive and Serve”

  • Sharon says:

    thank you for this article good one to think about so thank you again

  • kanji says:

    I have just read an article from Pastor Greg Laurie dated Oct. 5/13. In it he talks about why going to church is important. The headline caught my immediate attention. Why? I felt he wrote it personally for me. In amongst the seasoned wise-ness of Pastor Greg’s thoughts he wrote: ”The Bible indeed commands us to go to church, and even more, to be a functioning part of it. He quotes Heb. 10:24-25; 1 John 3:14; Ps. 133:1 and 1 John 2:19 to further emphasize his view. I have been proclaiming myself to be a born again Christian for 6 1/2 yrs. now. My attendance in our church has my head hanging low. I have no explanation as to why our particular church turns me sour (perhaps the wrong description). Pastor Greg goes on to say ”Being in fellowship is a proof that you are indeed a child of God. He also says, ”Yes, if you love God, you will love His people and long to be with them. If you don’t really love God, you won’t love His people.”. After reading this sentence, I felt like I’d been stung by a spiritual bee. Guilty as charged yet I profess that I love the Lord and believe with all my heart and soul.
    My statement is simply this: why, if I love Jesus so, have I found it so hard to find that spiritual home all these years now? Why is it now the opportunity is just on the cusp of the direction of finding this church? Why have I been grieving the Holy Spirit all the while?
    My heart is heavy, chronic pain has been attacking my flesh for the better part of a year and I fear backsliding into my old flesh.
    Forgive the ranting. God bless each and every one associated with this post.

  • Rosabelle says:

    What a wonderful, visual reminder of our need to stay connected to our life source, Jesus.

  • Doris Beck D. Beck says:

    I agree Barbara…I really enjoyed this Devotional too!! And I love the example of the roses being grafted into the vine. My uncle used to graft branches onto fruit trees so I remember the process well!! Thanks for visiting and for leaving your comment! We always enjoy hearing from our readers.

  • Julie B Cosgrove (@JulieBCosgrove) says:

    what an awesome example. Thank you for sharing that!

  • Barbara says:

    I LOVED today’s devotional. I’ve been working on a book called “The Tale Of The Four Roses” it talks about roses being grafted into the vine (Jesus) and as they stay connected to the vine they bloom and serve. The roses that do not remain connected to the Vine…shrivel up and sadly wither away instead of thriving in the Divine garden.

    Sooo looking forward to receiving the upcoming devotionals this month relating to Devotion To Church Community.

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