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The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, Janurary 19, 2024, was written by Joshua Sila of Nairobi, Kenya.



1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

John 15:1-8 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

One sunny morning I woke up to the sounds of birds chirping. I looked out my window and saw that it was the long tendrils of my passion fruit plant that had attracted the birds. I recalled Jesus' words in John 15:5 and meditated on the verse with curiousity, knowing that the Holy Spirit had brought it to my mind to reveal something to me.

I realized that the image of the vine in John 15:5 and my passion friut plant have something in common - they both have winding, clinging branches that bear fruit. They don't have trunks; they cling to nearby objects for support, and their branches grow out of the vine. In john 15:5, Jesus was making it clear to us that he supplies our needs and makes it possible for us to flourish.

In order to thrive and bear fruit, climbing plants depend on a strong central vine and require occasional pruning. Jesus is our true vine, and when we remain connected to him, we can bear much fruit. All we need to do is receive and rest in Jesus' love. Just as a plant's nutrients flow from the vine to its branches, God's devine love flows from Christ to us.


Thought for the Day

Through nature, I can learn about God.


Author's Prayer

Dear Lord, as we cling to you, restore our peace and hope and remind us how much you love us. Amen.


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