Jesus says to us in John 15:4, “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” For us, this means being rooted and established in the truth of the Gospel and trusting in the Lord daily. And from this will come a over-abundance of fruit in our life…of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
It’s easy to trust the Lord when everything is going great in our lives. When we’re happy and healthy and all around us is peaceful…it’s almost effortless to put our faith in God. But it’s what happens when the unexpected and the unanticipated crash into our lives that really shows how rooted and grounded we are in Him. Droughts are long dry spells when rain doesn’t fall…the plants wither and the ground cracks. There are times when all of us can go through “spiritual” dry spells. Times when our soul seems parched, our body is withering, and our mind cracking under the stress… and we feel God is so far away. But if we’re firmly rooted in the streams of living water, regardless of the trial, we can still flourish and grow.
Jesus wasn’t chastising the Disciples, He was simply speaking the truth, and fulfilling the prophecy spoken of from Zechariah. Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd…the one Who cares for, watches over, and provides for the welfare of His flock…Christian Believers everywhere.
In this upwardly mobile society, we move about a lot. Sometimes out of necessity, sometimes for pleasure…and there’s times we find ourselves in places that are different, strange, and unlike what we’re accustomed to…and we feel uncomfortable…longing for our home. As Believers, we’re foreigners here on Earth…for our citizenship is in Heaven. (Phil. 3:20) It’s no wonder then that we feel conflicted, uneasy and awkward…we’re just visitors here!
Many of us walk around with gaping holes in our heart…holes caused from personal loss, trauma, or at the hands of someone else. We frantically search for things to fill these holes, but find nothing that lasts or gives us peace of mind. Jesus Christ is the only person or thing that can make your heart whole again. For in Him, you are made perfectly complete…lacking nothing… able to fully realize who you are in Christ.
When you receive Jesus into your heart and believe that He died for your sins, you are adopted into the family of God. As Romans 8:16-17 states, “You have received the Spirit of sonship.” Regardless of whether you had both parents, only one parent, or no parents at all when you were growing up…you have been adopted into God’s family…and in doing so, have been chosen and legally named as a joint heir with Jesus.
The act of water baptism is full of symbolism and meaning. For those watching, it’s a public declaration of the person’s inner decision. For the person being baptized, it’s a time of newness of soul and spirit. In Romans 6:4 it says, ” We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Therefore, within the action of water baptism, our old self dies, and our new self emerges out of the water.