Crossroads: Staying Connected

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John 15:1-8

My Story

I have always loved wisteria. I know that it’s a parasite, but it has always been beautiful to me. One of my favorite parts of driving to my grandparents’ house as a kid was driving past the beautiful wisteria growing in a patch of trees. I loved it so much that one day Pop (my granddad) pulled over on the side of the road to cut me a piece of wisteria. As soon as he cut it off the vine, it wilted. Unlike a flower, that wisteria couldn’t survive without being connected to its source.

Your Story

Have you experienced anything that must stay connected to its source in order for it to work? (You could even talk to your kids about the electronics in your house that must be plugged in in order for them to work.)

The Bible Story

Read John 15:1-8. From the NIV: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 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. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

Like that wisteria, we thrive when we are connected to our source: God. When we are apart from God, when we refuse Him and run away, we wilt. The storms of life knock us down and things feel hopeless. Without God, we have no hope. But if we remain connected to God, those storms may still knock us down, but we have God who lifts us back up. With God, nothing is impossible. We are able to get through anything because the Creator of the Universe loves us and walks beside us. He is always there with us. And as long as we stay connected to Him, we can rest in the fact that He will carry us through those storms. And when we stay connected to Him, other people can see God’s love in us. That is the fruit we bear, the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Action and Discussion

• What are some ways that you can stay connected to God, both as individuals and as a family? What are things you need to do to remain connected to God?
• How do you feel when you ignore God for awhile, when you “unconnect”? How about when you listen to God and remain connected?

Prayer

• Thank God for giving us a way to be connected to Him through Jesus. Ask God for help in whatever ways you want to use to remain connected to Him. Thank Him for His love and His peace.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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