Thursday, January 18, 2007

Memory Work

Every week my students take to mind, and hopefully to heart, a memory verse. Usually I correspond the memory verse to the topic of morning devotions. At the end of the week, each student comes up to my desk and recites the verse to me. This week they memorized a verse from what might be my favorite chapter in the Bible:
"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." John 15:4

The exercise is likely better for me than it is for them. Truth is spoken to me, 21 times, via the pretty cute voices of ten year olds. They are wondering if they got it all right; I'm ready to thank them for sharing such a great thought with me. The gift of scripture, 21 times over.
This whole vine thing is pretty inspiring to me. And it seems simple, but I'm a pretty stubborn branch, it seems. Hey, tree! I can handle this. Let me take care of growing the fruit- I've got this patience thing under control. Gentleness? Done! Self-control? I'll do it myself!! It seems to make sense to just try harder, and then I will become more faithful, more patient, more loving, more giving. But it doesn't really work. Perhaps for awhile, but I don't think trying hard usually ends up changing the heart.
John 15 says it pretty clearly- Jesus says the way to grow is to live in Him. He's the Way to becoming a fruit-bearer. Remain in Jesus. Stay with him.
Thanks for the reminder Grade 5...21 times over!

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. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.

1 comment:

deb said...

Thanks, Harm... that is a really good reminder. I'll leave it at that for now. Miss ya.