Ralph's Daily Devotional - Friday, March 16

John 15:1-8 describes our relationship with Jesus in terms of the vine and its branches.  John 15:2 and 15:6 convey a powerful warning to remain faithful and useful lest we be cut off or burned in the fire.  How do we understand such fearful warnings in light of other passages which assure us that once we trust in Jesus we are saved forever?

Verses such as these are difficult to read and grasp for many.  Another one is Hebrews 6:4-6.  They seem to speak of believers who for some reason have failed and are now doomed.  Pretty scary right?  Yes indeed, but they are not meant to simply frighten us or take away our assurance of God's unconditional love.  Rather, they serve to put all on notice that God is not mocked.  One cannot claim to be a follower of Christ and yet not take His call to discipleship seriously. 

All of us as disciples fall short.  In nature, flowers bloom because of the vine.  Apples come forth from the branches.  Yet no flower or fruit is perfect.  Still, we do not throw them away or burn them for being less than perfect.  Even so, real Christians are precious to God despite whatever faults they may have.  There is a great difference between fruit that is less than perfect and no fruit at all.  So abide in the lord and He will give you both the help and love you need to grow.  This is Jesus' meaning here.

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