John 15:4 (NKJV) "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of
itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."

Have you ever considered how abiding in Jesus is really just a strong encouragement
to stay close to Him, in Him, and around Him?

Who are the ones that get picked off by our enemies? Who are the ones who become
ripe targets for heavy temptations? Who are the ones who seem to wander around
far more than they press into the things of God?

The stragglers!

Those on the outer edges, not really going in or staying in, are the ones that tend
to be carried off. Those that choose to dabble in spiritual things; those that seem
to play at 'religion,' are the ones that are picked off far too easily.

We (you) need to go ALL IN with the things of God. Far from playing at 'religion,'
we need to be surrendering in relationship to our living Savior! If we're just hanging
out as casual observers, not really involved in the things of God deeply; if we
are the ones who take a casual approach to worship, to service, to prayer, then
we are at great danger of being picked off -- and even wiped out!

Shepherds know that the sheep wandering away from the flock are the ones who are
most prone to be ravished by a predator. But those that stay close to the center
of the flock, close to the shepherd, are in the greatest place of safety, security,
and protection.

May we be those sheep close to the Shepherd.