Some Assembly Required: Week 4 Part 2

OPENING PRAYER:

Lord, I know you are close to me.  Help me stay close to you today. Whatever comes my way, I want to face it in your strength and not on my own. Amen.

 

READ: John 15:5

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

 

REFLECT:

Wow! That’s pretty strong.  “Apart from me you can do nothing.” And, what about that “fruit”?  What does fruit have to do with my marriage? What are we talking – blackberries, raspberries, grapes? That stuff is good for eating but I can’t see how they will make a difference when it comes to me and my spouse.

Jesus wasn’t talking about the family garden or the produce aisle at the grocery store. He was referring to an entirely different sort of crop, one that impacts every aspect of your life and, in particular, your relationships.

The fruit he was speaking of is the fruit of the Spirit. The transformation the Holy Spirit is bringing about in Christ-followers when they move from hotheads to men and women who can wait, bear with one another and be at peace in the midst of turmoil. We find a list of this kind of fruit in Galatians 5:22 where it says – the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

From spilt milk to dented fenders, one can see how the presence of Holy Spirit fruit can make a difference in our daily interactions with our spouse. From facing the loss of a job to parenting rebellious children, Holy Spirit fruit allows husbands and wives to weather the storms of life and remain steadfast in their love and commitment to one another.

Love in the face of disappointment is kept alive by its connection to the “Vine”. Peace in the face of heartbreak comes from its steadfast attachment to the “Vine”. Patience in the throes of your two-year-old’s melt down in the check-out line at Target can only survive when it is linked tightly to the “Vine.”

 

APPLY:

We are called to follow Christ. The best thing for our marriage is for us to live our lives closely connected to God through his word and through prayer. Holy Spirit fruit flourishes in proximity to the “Vine.”  This “fruit” will overflow into all areas of life including the marriage relationship.

 

CLOSING PRAYER:

Father God, help me stay close to you today.  When I face the activities and challenges of this day, I want to remember who I am in you and respond accordingly. Amen.

Terry Schneider