Adam’s Devotional July 23-29, 2020

From Adam…

“Sorry I can’t come; I’ve got practice.” Football practice, tennis practice, soccer practice, robotics practice, debate team practice, violin practice, play practice, harp practice, even shotgun practice. That’s the most typical excuse for why people can’t participate in church activities. It makes sense, though. If you don’t practice, you can’t play. Literally! If you never step foot on the basketball court or even hold a basketball, you’re not going to be able to play basketball. Maybe that’s part of what Jesus was getting at when he said this to his disciples in John’s gospel. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them, bear much fruit because apart from me you can do nothing. How many of us sit at a distance? We look at the crosses on top of steeples, we look at the Bible on the shelf, and then we’re surprised when we don’t know how to play. The fruit that the Holy Spirit bears in our lives– love in the midst of hate,  joy in the midst of sadness, peace in the midst of pandemic, patience in the midst of suffering, kindness in the midst of cruelty, gentleness in the midst of pugilism (look that one up!).  As all do, this analogy breaks down. Our faith is not about a set of skills to be learned but about Person to be known. If we never practice listening to God’s voice in prayer and scripture, then we won’t be able to discern God’s voice when we least expect it. How are you practicing your faith right now? Some people put a basketball goal in at their house so they can practice at home.  How do you practice your faith at home? When’s the last time you went on a walk with God around your neighborhood? When’s the last time you opened your Bible? When’s the last time you memorized a passage of scripture that encouraged you? What about prayer? When’s the last time you asked your friends how you could pray for them? When’s the last time you talked and listened to Christ Jesus like you would a close friend? Remember, the most important part of being a branch is staying attached to the vine. God’s up to something . . . be a part of it. 

God’s up to something . . . be a part of it. 

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