December 23 John 15,16,17,18

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These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish. Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at

Remain | Susan Aken

S~ Remain in me, as I also 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. John 15:4 (NIV)

O~ Eleven times in seven verses (verses 4-10) Jesus uses the word “remain”. I believe He thought this was important for us to know. This word means remain, abide; to continue to be present; not to depart ( seven of those times He tells us to remain in Him. Seven times in seven verses Jesus says, “Remain in me.” Live in my presence, stay there, don’t leave, and stay continually. He makes the point that apart from Him we can do nothing. If we are operating in our strength, we will be fruitless. He also tells us to let His words remain in us.

A~ How do I do this? How do I continually remain in Jesus? I know once I accept Him as my Savior, I am His forever. His Holy Spirit is in me and will never leave so, why does Jesus have to tell me to remain in Him? Even though He lives in me, I can ignore Him; I can choose to operate in my own strength. I remain in Him when I pray about everything, when I read His word everyday and then mediate on it, when I talk to Him about decisions I have to make, when I listen for guidance and then obey, when I praise Him throughout the day. I have to make the choice to seek Him continually not just when I am in trouble, not just on Sunday and not just in the morning but throughout my day. I can’t do this perfectly but I want to move closer and closer to remaining in Him.

P~ Jesus, thank you that you love us so much that you want us to remain in you. Thank you that you have given us the Holy Spirit who makes it possible. Please fill me with your Spirit and help me to live in your presence. I want to remain in you Jesus. Please show me anything in my life that hinders that.

Stability and Consistency | Michelle Myers

S~ Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  A branch cannot produce fruit alone but must remain in the vine.  In the same way, you cannot produce fruit alone but must remain in me.  I am the vine and you are the branches.  If any remain in me and I remain in them, they produce much fruit.  but without me they can do nothing. John 15:4-5 (NCV)

O~ You must stay connected to Jesus, so you can stay connected to God.

A~ God has really been dealing with me with stability and consistency.  I have struggled with it since I quit teaching.  I am a little better than I was a year ago, but I still can easily get side tracked, especially when it comes to my time with God and exercise.  And, on the days that I don’t take time for either, I notice it.  And usually, it isn’t just one day that I miss.  I start off thinking, it will be one day, and then that compromise turns into another day, another day, and another day.  With each day, the stress, the emotions, the chaos, etc. starts to get to me a little bit more, until finally, I hit my breaking point.  My breaking point consists of the following:

1. not letting something go and picking a stupid argument with my husband.

2. guilt over excessively nagging my kids, until I even hear the teacher in Charlie Brown when I speak.

3. struggling in my head with past issues and hurts that have been improved, and that I can no longer do anything about.

4. having this overwhelming struggle inside me, where I feel that I am not good enough, can’t do enough, or am striving for some non-existent worldly perfection.

5. having just this icky feeling, where I am impatient, less loving, more tired, etc.; and I can’t figure out what is wrong.

Verse 5 ends with saying, ‘without me they can do nothing’….at least nothing good.  I can do a lot of damage, waste a lot of time, and have to clean up a lot of messes, when I am not plugged into God.  I react to things out of the flesh.  I am more prideful.  I am less giving.  I make unwise decisions.  I could go on and on about the damage that is done, when I don’t consistently take the time I need with God.

P~ Thank you God for never giving up on me.  Help me prioritize my time.  Continue to show me where I am getting distracted and how to rearrange my life, so it better serve you.

My Goal: Overflowing Joy | Joni Tyner

S~ When you obey my commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in His love.  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy.  Yes, your joy will overflow! John  15:10,11  NLT  (emphasized with underline is mine)

O~ Jesus is teaching about remaining in Him in chapter 15. He is the vine, we are the branches.   A “spiritual” word for remaining in Him is abiding.  I think of abiding as keeping my heart and mind close to the Lord, it’s praying when times are tough and praising Him in all things.  In verse 10, Jesus is teaching that obedience to His commandments will result in overflowing joy.

A~ I don’t know about anyone else, but I desire joy in my life, probably more than any other gift the Holy Spirit gives us. I want to be an overflowing joyful person.  I want it to be my natural response to what life throws at me.  Just this morning, my dishwasher broke and my natural response was to be annoyed with the unexpected inconvenience and expense.  I’ve got a house for of company coming in for the holidays!!! Whaaaaaa.     Now, I realize that dishwashers weren’t around when Jesus was teaching in John 15, but…the Bible is timeless.  It applies to my ordinary, daily life.  My response should be to be thankful that dishwashers are temporary in this life, it can be replaced, and it really isn’t a big deal.  I need to quit whining about being inconvenienced and be grateful that I have a family that creates dirty dishes. I have a job that buys food that creates the dirty dishes.   I need to abide in Him and respond to a bump into my happy with joy.

P~ Dear Lord, thanks for this latest reality check.  I’m sorry I was pouting and irritated with a trivial problem.  Thank you that You always provide for us. Help me to be grateful for all of life’s circumstances.

I love You.

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Posted on December 23, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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