Experience His Presence: Daily Devotional

John 15:1-5

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. 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. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Sheldon Vanauken and his wife, Davy, were not Christians as he began his journey through Oxford University. Yet in God’s providence, they would meet a unique scholar, Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis, who mentored them toward faith. Later, Sheldon would lose Davy in an untimely death, and mourn her deeply. Yet his faith held firm. His experience with fellow Christians led him to this observation (A Severe Mercy):

“The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness.

But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians—when they are somber and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive….then Christianity dies a thousand deaths.”

Jesus shared a key life-truth with his disciples; namely, that even though He would be physically absent from them during the next era on the Kingdom timeline, they and He could stay vitally connected. Indeed, staying vitally connected would be the key to everything truly important in life. An “abiding” disciple is a fruit-laden branch of Jesus, full of His joy, His peace, His purpose, His life.

Connected vitally to Him, we can do all things (cf.  Phil.  4:13). Detached we can do nothing.

Journal Notes


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