My parents have a small vineyard in their backyard with muscadine grapes. Those vines are always so full with grapes they begin to sag close to picking time. My children love to pick them off the vine and eat the fruit right there on the spot. What's happening on the inside of the vine is what counts.

Jesus said in John 15:9, "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love." Jesus was suggesting we find real love in His love. If we really abided in His love and time with Him, we would come away feeling so full, so cherished, that we would rush back to Him whenever we could.

You can read all of the devotions and Bible reading for years without actually abiding in the love of Jesus. Reading a book about a person isn't the same thing as knowing the person who wrote the book. Our challenge in abiding is to go from dutiful activities to a living, budding relationship with God.

Just as with the vine, in abiding, what happens on the surface doesn't count; what's happening inside does.

(Barbie will be speaking at First Baptist Raleigh Saturday morning & to the Mississippi State University BSU Tuesday night.)