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As we get older, our lives begin to get stuck into a pattern of daily events that become routine, religious and habitual.  We wake to eat breakfast, go to work or school, come home, rest, begin our evening regiment of activities with our family, watch a little television and go to bed only to get up the next morning and do it all over again.  The benefit of having a routine keeps us focused and disciplined, unless the routine is destructive.  The pattern of our lives produce a fruit in our lives that not only help sustain us but impact those around us.  Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit because you can do nothing without me.” - John 15:5 (HCSB)  The word “remains” three things:

1.  Jesus gives us a place.  Do you remember the last time you had a family dinner? From an early age I was taught how to set a place setting.  Put the fork on this side, make the blades of the knife face this way, fold the napkin like so.  I was preparing a place for me and my loved ones to sit, eat, and fellowship.  God has set a place for us at His table.  Jesus pulls out the chair and asks, “Will you dine with (remain) with me?  Let me feed you.”

2.  Jesus gives us a time.   Remaining in the place that God had set for us is not a one time sitting.  Too many times we treat God with the same importance of an item on our to-do checklist.  We say to ourselves, “I went to church today, check!  I read a Bible verse today, check!  I said a prayer today, check!, I was a good person today, check!”  God did not send Jesus to die for our sins to be “one” of the items on our daily list.  Jesus was sent to be our entire life, not for a place to visit but to dwell.  Jesus asks, “Will you let me walk with you?”

3.  Jesus gives us a state. God knows that our minds are often set to wander and stray from Him.  Our daily routines and commitments that are against Christ pull us away from Him.  God’s presence gives us a state of mind that is set on peace. Philippians 4:6-7 (HCSB)  Time spent away from Christ moves us into being self-reliant.  By turning away from Christ we are left to our own limited understanding which can make our state of mind very unstable.

As we move into a new phase of growth in our individual lives and a church, continue to REMAIN in Christ!

In Him,

Pastor James

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