A Beautiful Thing - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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Hillcrest Baptist Church

Day 5 Devotional
Friday, April 15, 2011

"I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." -- John 15:5 (NIV)

Brother Tom could not have chosen two people more able to attest to the truth of these words of Jesus than us.  When we began our lives together we were definitely branches attached to the vine.  We had every intention of spending the rest of our lives serving God.  Then we graduated from Baylor and went out into the world.

The world offered many things that seemed to get in the way of our good intentions.  After many fruitless years, circumstances drew us back to the vine from which we had been detached.  We found ourselves at Hillcrest.  God searches for His lost sheep and brings them back into the fold.

You may ask, "What does it mean to remain in Him?  How do I do that?"  You remain in Him when you pray continually.  Pray for yourself, for your family, for your leaders, for your friends.  Pray about everything.  To remain in Him you must study His word.  That doesn't mean just reading the Sunday School lesson.  You need to be an active member of a Church that is dedicated to following Christ.  Be a part of a group, or groups, within that Church that fellowships together, serves together, supports, encourages, and prays for one another.  Being an active member of a Church means to let God work through you to accomplish His will.  If you do these things, we know from experience that you will develop the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  (See Galatians 5.22-23.)

This is what it means to 'remain in Him'.  When you do, miracles happen!

Our Lord, please keep us ever mindful that you are the source of all the good that comes our way, and keep us grafted to the Vine when the bad days come.  Help us to remain in You.  Amen.

Prepared by Jim and Pat Sessions

To prepare spiritually during our “A Beautiful Thing” campaign, you will receive a devotional written by our own members every day, Monday through Saturday, for five weeks. If you do not wish to receive these daily devotionals, click here. To read the announcements from the “ABT Weekly Update,” click here.