The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday, May 23, 2023, was written by Titik Rahayuningsih of Indonesia.
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
CLOSER TO GOD
One day, my co-worker gave me a potted flower that was slightly dry. I knew that if the plant was not watered, it would soon die. So, I began to care for the flower by watering it every day and placing it in the sunlight. Soon the flower was refreshed and grew even more beautiful. This reminds me how much God loves us. Often, we may feel neglected, lost, or even like there is no hope for us. But when we draw closer to God and let God douse our dry hearts with the Holy Spirit, we are renewed.
When we feel that God is far from our lives, the truth is that God has never left us – even when we have left God. God’s love is permanent and eternal. Let us continue to draw our hearts and minds closer to God so that we can become the persons God desires us to be. We know that God, the source of life, will help us with every struggle we face.
How often are we taking time to allow God to douse our hearts with hope, joy, and forgiveness? Daily time in prayer, reading God’s word, and listening to music are a few of the spiritual disciplines that help us draw closer to God. Titik’s reflection reminds us that God desires to draw closer to us. I invite you to re-read the reflection and ask yourself: “What will I do to deepen my relationship with God today?”
Loving God, soften our hearts so that we may become more Christlike. Teach us to live your word so that we may grow to know you more deeply. Amen.
- Titik Rahayuningsih