Today’s scripture: John 15:4-11 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)
As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.
My thoughts (Cheryl Stonestreet):
Pastor Jeff has been urging us to make deep and personal connections to Jesus well before we started the Building Block sermon series. A long time ago, when I began attending Jesus MCC, Pastor Jeff gave a sermon where he invited us to envision Jesus sitting in a room with us. His point was for us to talk to Jesus as we would a good friend, to tell Jesus what is going on in our lives, and how we sincerely felt about things.
At that time I was working for a corporation, and my boss was a tyrant. I did not enjoy the work I was doing — I was only there to collect the paycheck. I tried to find other positions within the company, but nothing was opening up and I began to feel hopelessly stuck. The more stuck I felt, the meaner my boss got, and then I felt even more and more stuck. I was miserable.
One morning in my prayers, I decided to try visualizing Jesus there with me. I gave him a place to sit, and he came in and sat with me.I thought if Jesus is among us, he probably isn’t wearing long flowing robes. I saw him wearing khaki pants, and a cotton button down shirt. He was from the Middle East, so he probably had dark features. And to me, he kind of looked like Cat Stevens when he was in his 30’s, dark haired and handsome.
But mostly I remember the expression on his face when I began to cry, asking him to please find me another job — something I could enjoy and that would still support my household. His face was so kind and understanding. It did feel like I had talked to him there in my own room and from my honest heart. I closed my prayer, and went on about my day.
That same evening I had dinner with a friend. She was soon moving out of town to a new job, herself. My friend had a small cleaning business that she had been using to support herself between jobs. She didn’t want to just drop her clients and leave them, so she asked me to take over her business for her. I did the math, and if all her clients hired me, I could afford to do this! As it turned out, they all agreed. My prayers were answered. And to God’s glory, my business has been prosperous.
Jesus is the vine, and I am a branch. His love flows through me and together we produce good fruit.
Thought for the day: In what ways do I invite Jesus directly into my life? How are my actions producing good fruit?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.