Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Closer than Closeness

by Bayo Earl

30 September 2021

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“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5, NIV

I really love this passage in John 15 where Jesus teaches about the vine and the branches – I used to read it as a sort of cold command, but now I can see that actually it is an invitation to really know and grow in Him. There is just that gets me about the fact that Jesus WANTS us to be one with Him! It can be so easy to fall into the mindset that we need to almost convince the Lord to be with us or that we need to earn His presence somehow, when in actual fact, not only does He promise to be with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20) but it is on His heart for us to have union with Him. He WANTS us to be with Him!

I remember once hearing someone use an illustration for unity with Jesus that was along these lines: Put your hands in front of you with palms touching. This is closeness, your hands are touching each other, we can be and you may already be close with God. Now clasp your hands together. This is unity. Your hands are together and holding each other. There is something closer than closeness, we can be one with God. I can`t remember exactly where I heard it but this is an image that has really stuck with me. How amazing and what a privilege it is that not only is it possible for us to be one with Jesus but that it is more on His heart than it is ours! Our world can be very focussed on achievement and can have the attitude that if we want something it is down to us to make it happen, so for God to make the first step of loving us first, of being active in inviting us to be one with Him, that completely breaks the pattern. Of course, we have to want to have this relationship with Him, but it’s because of His heart and His grace that we can rest in the fact that when we seek Him with all of our hearts, we will find Him! (Jeremiah 29:13) He WANTS us to really know Him!

So be encouraged! Whether you’ve been a believer for many years – we can always know Jesus more, or if maybe you feel a bit weary and tired in your faith and relationship with God, let it sink that He wants you to know Him more than you could ever imagine! I think that Max Lucado puts it so well when writing about this passage, he simply says “Cling to the Vine.” Jesus says that if we remain in Him, He will remain in us. Hold onto Him, seek Him and He will continue to draw you closer.

Prayer: Father God thank you that you want me to know you more. Thank you that it is on your heart for me to be one with you Lord, that you made me for real relationship with you. Lord, please help me to know this and for this to be reality in the nitty gritty day-to-day of my life. Please help me to know more of your heart for me and what it really means to be one with you Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bayo Earl Bayo is on team at Ellel Grange after originally joining Ellel through the gap year programme UNDIVIDED. She loves to be creative – particularly through textiles – has a lot of plants, inside and outside, and is definitely an outdoors person.


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