“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.”
“Remain in me.” These words of Jesus to his disciples are the same words he speaks to us today. How are we to “remain” in him if he is no longer present here on the earth? Through his Holy Spirit, who fosters and empowers our relationship with Jesus, connecting us to him through the same life-giving power that raised him from the dead. What could God do with us if we connected with him for an hour a day?
Jonathan Edwards was a pastor, theologian, and missionary who understood what it means to remain in Jesus and to enjoy Him. In a work titled, Religious Affections, Edwards wrote:
“Who will deny that true religion consists, in a great measure, in vigorous and lively actings of the inclination and will of the soul, or the fervent exercises of the heart? That religion which God requires, and will accept, does not consist in weak, dull, and lifeless, wishes, raising us but a little above a state of indifference.”
Hour a Day is much more than simply a practice of spiritual disciplines, although that is a great piece of the equation. This time is a means (among many) to a hopeful end. The hopeful end being that: you are impacted, taught and changed by God through a daily encounter with him.
This “vigorous and lively actings of inclination” Edwards describes is brought about by our remaining in Jesus. As we remain in him, our soul is inclined to know more about him – to hear him in new ways – to love him more. Our hope is not to be discipled by a person, curriculum, or plan. Our deep desire is to be led and taught by God alone.