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Need a little glue?

We all know there are things in this world 'joined together' that just don't stay together very well! I have had chairs get wobbly over the course of scooting in and out, with joints coming loose and requiring much effort to get them 'firmed up' again. I have had papers placed in right order, stapled and bound, only to find that after repeated examination those pages 'wear loose' and sometimes even tear away from their bound edges. Heaven knows there are tons of relationships, once strong and vibrant, now withered and worn, no longer with anything holding them together - although once bound together, they are now separate and standing alone. It is not God's plan to have what he joins with him ever loose that connection, though. His intent is that we are joined with him - in an intimate and growing relationship - not to be separated from him again!

I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples." John 15:5,8 MSG

When we are correctly joined with Jesus - he grafts us into his life source. There is no doubting where the life comes from, for the power is supernatural, the energies oftentimes way beyond our own natural energies, and the outcome far exceeds what we could produce in any effort of our own. Living and vital connection yields vital growth - fruit is born from such a connection. Sometimes people share with me their frustration over not 'seeing' much change in their lives - as though they somehow expected to be instantly free of frustrations that have been a constant cause of stress in their lives. I guess I'd have to ask a couple of questions of those individuals. 

Is the connection you made with those things that frustrate you so much now really a connection you need to keep now that you are connected with Christ? I am not telling you it is okay to abandon your marriage if that is the point of frustration, but maybe you could abandon some of the things you have held onto within that relationship that haven't been producing the right outcome within that relationship. For example, if you have learned it is okay to raise your voice at one another, yelling and arguing all the time about who knows what, maybe it is time to let go of some of those 'bad habits' you have allowed to interfere with the growth within that relationship.

Is your frustration with certain things because you are expecting to see growth without any investment on your part? God doesn't just 'pump life into us' - he expects us to invest in that life sustaining connection. The grafted branch doesn't just sit there - it begins the process of meshing with the branch it has been grafted into. It works to make the connection just as strong as possible - as much as the branch it has been grafted into works to supply all that will be needed to accomplish that vital connection and 'growth possibility'. We might want to just sit in relationship with Jesus and have all handed to us on a silver platter, but there are times when God asks us to take a step and then he backs that step with his power.

Fruit is a result of connection. Connection is only possible when two are willing to be 'merged together'. Solid connection is something that must be maintained - for every connection can be weakened by stress against the joints that bind the parts together. We must maintain the connection with Christ on a daily basis - a connection that will bear fruit in time - not instantly! Just sayin!

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