Riding down the highway, squeezing in a little getaway with the family. An eery silence in the car as two exhausted college students sleep and peaceful tunes play in the background. Not gonna lie it's been a harsh couple of weeks but awesome at the same time.

ALERT! I'm about to get real right now: physical exhaustion left me depleted and summoned me to my knees in the early morning hours. My mind was all over the place as assaults reached an all time high. Oh! and the Christmas gifts that should’ve been under the tree hadn’t even been purchase yet blah! No pressure though... (6 days from Christmas as I write this blog)

My frazzled mind kept reflecting back to the incredible John 15:5 passage:

"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 NIV)

Remain is to continue to exist, especially after other similar or related people or things have ceased to exist...

Synonyms: obey, observe, follow, uphold, heed, and accept.

I get the instruction to continue in the vine so we can bear much fruit but the part that says, ‘apart from Me you can do nothing’, left me concerned about the condition of my spirit woman. I'm a train wreck! Shouldn't it be less difficult to "remain" during the season that represents Him most: CHRISTmas for heavens sake?

1-Intentionally continuing in Him produces fruit: you know the Galatians 5:22 type of fruit.

“the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” (NLT)

How? remaining and producing requires time in His Word regardless of what's going on around you; especially if / when others cease to obey or heed.

2- Functioning apart from the vine (God) is a total time waster y’all. We aren't functioning well at all, we are sort of managing. Our ability, talent, hype and skill can only carry us so far. Without the power of Christ we’ll soon find ourselves frustrated, angry and annoyed because His presence is absent. He must be the center of our purpose.

The branch (person) that refuses to abide in Him becomes useless. John 15:6(NLT) “Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.”

By not abiding in Him we will soon fall off the vine. Our roots where we receive nourishment were never truly planted. The fruit of the vine is proof of our faith. Not perfection — but fruit, even if a small bud.

Dear friends: remain in Him.

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