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Staying, Praying, And Not Straying From Jesus.

Beloved congregation, we gather here today bound by faith and warmed by the fellowship surrounding us. Together, we are like family members seated at a vast table, sharing the bread of life. Our theme is a pressing call to our hearts: "Staying, Praying, and Not Straying From Jesus." In this world filled with distractions and trials, it becomes increasingly important to focus on this truth.


The scripture that anchors our spirits today comes from the book of John, chapter 15, verses 4 and 5:

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

John's gospel extends an invitation and a profound truth, speaking directly to the essence of our lives as believers. Imagine, if you will, a vineyard where the vines cling heartily to their source of strength, the vine, and as a result, they flourish and bring forth sweet fruit. This is the picture of our relationship with Christ, for He is the vine, and we are the branches seeking sustenance and life from Him alone.


There is an urgency in our times that we cannot ignore. Friends, we witness a world humming with prophecies and signs as described in the Bible. While we must refrain from pinpointing dates, predicting events, or becoming engulfed in the sensational, our focus must laser in on the words of Christ Himself.


Now, more than ever, we are called to refresh our bonds to our Savior, daily reaffirming our dedication to Him. The very words of Christ, those powerful words in red, stand out as a beacon guiding our steps. They are as active now as the heavenly hosts present at the glorious moment of Christ's birth.


Our central message is clear: we must remain rooted in Christ, unwavering in prayer, and steadfast in our commitment, no matter what tides may come our way. Life can pull us in many directions and tempt us with quick fixes or new ideologies, but in Jesus alone, we find our anchor and strength.


Staying with Jesus means saturating our days with His presence and aligning our decisions with His word. When moments of doubt arise, or the shadows of confusion seem to loom close, remember the vineyard and choose to stay attached to the vine, for it is only through Jesus that we can bear fruit in our lives.


Praying constantly as the early Christians did, engaging in an ongoing conversation with the Lord, invites Him into the minute details of our lives. Through these moments of communion, our faith grows more muscular, and our direction becomes more evident.


Not straying from Jesus comes down to our conscious choice to prioritize our relationship with Him above all else. It entails vigilance over our hearts and minds, ensuring that our walk becomes a testament to His unfailing love and grace.


In conclusion, dear friends, may this message take root in your hearts. May it inspire you to draw closer to Christ, to seek His face in the quiet morning hours, under the midday sun, and in the stillness of the night. We are called to live lives rich in faith and abundant in fruit, connected unwaveringly to our source, Jesus Christ.


"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2)


Go forth, brothers and sisters, clinging to the vine, for in Him we find our hope, strength, and very life.


Amen.

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