Devotion: Monday, April 30, 2018

A Biblical, Christ-filled word to bless your lives. 

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is from John 15:1–8, where Jesus says,

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


Each day seems to bring troubles, and challenges, and a few joys as well, right? Just a few weeks ago many of us faced “tax-day” together. And, we were reminded that the dollars in our pockets don’t go as far as they used to, do they? Resources for life, they are important. Having what you need to face the challenges of the day is one aspect to living life freely for others. But, our text is about the one key ingredient to that kind of life which has very little to do with what’s in your bank account, or what’s in your retirement fund, or what influence you wield at the company or in the community. The key ingredient to living a weathering, eternal life is to be connected to the one who is the source of life, Christ Jesus. He is the creator and the redeemer. He is the source of life, the strength of life, to face the challenges of life each day. John 15 asks a simple question, “Are you connected to Him… Are you abiding in His Word?” Are you connected to HIS power source of grace and mercy, living life boldly in His Name for others? Or are you withering on the vine, as they say, because you are stubbornly, and yes, sinfully trying to go it alone?

That’s a bit like Morris Siegel’s life.[1]He was a street person in Los Angeles. He lived like most street people – roaming about in back alleys, sleeping out-of-doors, carrying everything he owned in an old shopping cart. One day, at 72 years of age, he was found in an alley, dead of natural causes. It was if his life just withered away.

The interesting thing about Morris is that, while he only had $3.00 in his pocket that day, he had $207,421 in the bank earning interest. He had inherited money from his father, but he refused to accept it. The Division of Unclaimed Property literally had to track him down, his family had to force him to accept it, but he would put none of it to use for his needs or the needs of others. He was content to live life on his terms and his terms alone. Amazing. He had, what many would call, “abundance” at his fingertips, but he chose to live in the poverty and pain of the streets.

So many of us are like Morris Siegel, spiritually. God provides an abundance of grace, of mercy, and of wisdom for our lives in Jesus Christ and we forgo it to live on our terms in the poverty of our pride, our sin and guilt. Check your connections today. And, in repentance and faith, abide in the words of Jesus Christ. That’s life with power and purpose no matter what is on the horizon.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, your death and resurrection reconciled us to God. Where there was sin and death, now there is life and peace for all who trust in you. By faith, empower us to live life in that reality for a life that can weather all storms. AMEN.