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Tuesday, May 30, 2017 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Within Yelling Distance

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Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 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. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love (John 15:4-10).

As a parent, I am concerned for the safety of my children. As such, and like so many other families, we have our established rules that have been made for the purpose of keeping the peace, safety, sanity, and so forth of each member of the family. One such rule has been that when the children go out to play, that they must stay “within yelling distance.” The underlying theory has been that if they cannot hear us, then they are too far away--too far for us to reach them--too far to hear what they may need to hear in a time they need to hear it.
What we want for our children is simply for their best. We may not always have the best ideas on how to bring that about, but we know that with God’s help, we can discover some of what that is and help our children to discover that as well. This is not a process that is always easy to figure out, but there is one thing that is very certain and that is that God has our children’s best interest at heart. Just as God has every one of his children’s best interest at heart.
It is because of the love that God has for us that He has established rules for us to follow. The ten commandments, the beatitudes, and so much more has been provided for us to have a clear understanding of what is necessary for us to do to stay within the boundaries God has set for us. Perhaps the eleventh commandment could be, “You shall stay within yelling distance.” But why would such a rule be necessary? Perhaps because, as we are His children, it is necessary for us to be in such a place that we can continuously hear the voice of our Father.
Though such a commandment does not exist, we can see within scripture the principle of, “...stay within yelling distance.” Moreover, we see within scripture a principle that says, get as close as you can to God, “Draw near to God,” and “Remain” with Him even as branches remain with the vine they are a part of. James tells us, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (4:8). In John 15, Jesus explains the principle of remaining in Him, even as a branch must remain in the vine to continue to draw life through the vine.
Why is it necessary to “stay within yelling distance?” So that we can hear the voice of our Father. We must die daily to selfish want; focus our eyes on Christ through times of Bible reading, meditation on Him, and prayer; and we must turn over to Him the cares and concerns of our lives. In so doing, we discipline ourselves to remain in Him--and in the boundaries that He has set up for our best good. And in so doing, we will remain in a place where we can hear His voice, know His will, and know what it means to have a rich and abundant life in Christ.

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