|» ||Devotion - May 4, 2015|
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
Too Close for Comfort
There are two attitudes regarding a person's relationship with the Lord. One is, he can't be close enough. The other is, he is too close for comfort. As I consider both of these attitudes, I need to ask myself where I stand. Do I rejoice in Jesus' promise, "I am with you always to the very end of the age"? Or, do I feel uneasy because he is too close for comfort? My answer will give me peace, or it will leave me unsettled.
It can be easy to feel Jesus is too close for comfort. This is especially true when I make decisions which put me first and which lead to my self-indulgence. I can't feel comfortable with Jesus looking over my shoulder. I want him to give me some space. The danger with this attitude is that if I push him away, when I desperately need him, I will be on my own–lost and alone.
On the other hand, there is the attitude that Jesus can never be too close. This is what I truly need, and what he desires for me. This is why Jesus came to earth to be my Savior. It is also why he suffered, died and rose again from the grave. Through his precious work he has made me his and bound me to him. It is as Jesus explained to his disciples, "I am the vine and you are the branches."
By remaining in Jesus I am changed. New life courses through that close connection. Good works are abundantly produced. The comfort and peace of Jesus' presence is certain and cherished. This is why I need to make every effort to remain close to him. With a world full of enemies, deceit and distractions, I must confess, he can never be too close to give me comfort.
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 167):
Jesus Christ, my sure defense and my Savior, now is living!
Knowing this, my confidence rests upon the hope he's giving,
Though the night of death be fraught still with many an anxious thought.
No, too closely am I bound unto him by hope forever;
Faith's strong hand the rock has found, grasped it, and will leave it never.
Even death now cannot part from its Lord the trusting heart.
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