If you were given a plant to care for, would it survive? Why or why not? MAIN IDEA – Jesus is our life. A branch can’t produce fruit by itself; it must be connected to the source of life. If it’s disconnected, it can’t receive the life-giving nutrients it needs to thrive. The same is true for Jesus-followers. If we want to be fruitful and thrive in life, we need to be connected to the Source of Life – Jesus. EXPLORE THE WORD: Read John 15:1-17 together. What does it mean to ‘abide in Christ’? What would that look like in your life? INTERESTING QUOTES: “The purpose of reading the Bible is not to know the Bible; the purpose of reading the Bible is to have a fresh encounter with the living God. The purpose of praying is not to say what is on our mind; the purpose of praying is to abide in Christ. The Pharisees did all the right religious practices, and they killed Jesus.” - Rob Reimer, Spiritual Authority “Cultivating the habit of Scripture before phone means looking in the right place to ask who you are. You open the Bible, and you find you are with your Dad. You find your name written on its pages. You find you are loved. Then you begin to reflect that love, just as you were made to.” - Justin Whitmel-Early, The Common Rule PRACTICE: Let’s look at some practical ways we can live out abiding in Christ… WORSHIP – Worship is placing the highest value on something through our devotion and adoration. To worship God is to allow Him to reign as King in our hearts, minds, and lives. Daily - Give God the first 15 minutes of your day, spending time in these spiritual practices Listen to your favorite worship songs on a walk or in your car today Daily - Turn your work/activities into an act of worship by reflecting God’s character at work, by applying His priorities to your work/activities. Daily - Dedicate your work/activities to Him: ‘God let this (work/activity) bring honor to You; let it in some way reveal Your creativity, wisdom, goodness, love.’ Monthly - spend time in nature; find ways to praise and worship God through creation. PRAYER - To pray is to make space to be with God. Prayer is about cultivating a deeper relationship with God and involves both speaking and listening, asking and waiting, surrendering and receiving. Daily - Choose a simple prayer you can quietly say through the day, like ‘Thank you Jesus’, ‘Jesus, I’m Yours’ or ‘Open my eyes to see what You see’. Or check out the Prayer Passport in our App for more daily prayers. Daily - When someone's name or face pops into your mind, pray for them. Weekly - Spend 10 minutes slowly praying through Matthew 6:9-13, The Lord’s Prayer. Stop after each line and think about the words; think about how it might look in your life personally. SCRIPTURE – The Bible is more than a book of rules. More than being about you and what you should be doing, the Bible is the Story of God and what He has done. It’s the true Story of how God loves His children, comes to rescue them, and then lives in and through them to restore and heal the world. Read Jeremiah 15:16; Matthew 4:4; John 17:17. What do you learn about the importance of God’s Word? Daily – Practice the habit of ‘Scripture before tech’, reading the Bible, starting the day by letting God’s Word frame your reality. Weekly - Find someone to connect with to talk about what you are learning in the Bible. SILENCE / MEDITATION – We are constantly surrounded by chaos and noise. Setting aside time to be silent and focused on God trains us in learning how to hear His voice and frees us from our addiction to noise and productivity. Meditation in the Bible is different from other forms of meditation; instead of ‘emptying our mind’ we fill our mind with thoughts of God and His Word. Daily - Practice 5-10 min of silence. Quietly whisper ‘Come Holy Spirit’; as distractions or thoughts arise, surrender them to God. Pick 1 chapter from the Bible and read the same chapter every day for a week (or more). What new things stand out to you each day? REFLECTION QUESTIONS to keep you growing How am I unplugging from tech and distractions to give God my full attention? How am I stopping to be with Jesus so that I can enjoy Him and delight in Him? How is it going with balancing my doing and my being? What areas of my life am I leaning into God’s strength over my own? How am I practising ‘abiding in Christ’ with others?