Removing the Dust
"I am the true Vine, and my Father is the Gardner. He lops off every branch that doesn't produce. And he prunes those branches that bear fruit for even larger crops. He has already tended you by pruning you back for greater strength and usefulness by means of the commands I gave you. Take care to live in me, and let me live in you. For a branch can't produce fruit when severed from the vine. Nor can you be fruitful apart from me.
"Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can't do a thing. If anyone separates from me, he is thrown away like a useless branch, withers, and is gathered into a pile with all the others and burned. But if you stay in me and obey my commands, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! My true disciples produce bountiful harvests. This brings great glory to my Father."
John 15:1-8 (TLB)
Annette Poitier is from The Bahamas. For many days, her computer kept losing power. No matter how many times Annette plugged it into the electrical outlet, the computer would start up then abruptly stop. Someone came and checked the battery, but it was fine. Annette removed the plug again and noticed it was coated in particles of dust. When she removed the dust and plugged it in again, the computer quickly lit up and ran normally.
This experience reminded Annette of our connection to Christ, the true vine. Sometimes we allow unneeded, even dangerous elements such as fear, worry, unkind thoughts, envy, hatred, or greed to build up in our minds and hearts. These get in the way of our connection to Christ. When we surrender all these matters to God through prayer and repentance, God will remove them and free us to live in his power.
Prayer: God our Father, help us to keep our minds fixed on you so that everything that blocks our connection to you may be removed, in Jesus' name. Amen.