“I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.” (Jesus – John 15:5)
With these words, recorded by John, our Lord Jesus makes it very clear… the central issue to our Christian faith is being bonded with Jesus.
Jesus is the Source of everything that is fruitful. The branches (US!) do not produce the fruit, the branches carry and reveal the fruit. The fruit comes from the Vine – the Vine gets the credit, the Vine is all important in the production of fruit.
This is very important because fruitfulness is very important to God. (One may even go so far as to say it is the number one thing He is desiring from us). The branches are connected to the Vine for one purpose only… to BE bearers of the Vine’s fruit.
Let’s think about this…
Fruit is never what we do for God. Even in our best of intentions, God is not seeking our fruit. He is not after our good works, our good words, or our impeccable morals. God is simply looking to DO His work through us. Fruit is God’s work – God, within us, doing what only God can do. The Vine is the Source of that fruit… and Jesus is the Vine. God’s work is done by Jesus, working through us.
We have talked about this before… it is so easy, as Christians, to get caught up in our endless striving to please God, when He has never asked us to do that. God is not seeking our endless efforts to do Godly things. He is seeking our fruitfulness. We please Him by our fruitfulness – and He is the sole Source of that fruit.
It becomes very simple. What God is looking for in each of us is our connection to Jesus – so that Jesus can perform His work (and the Father’s will) through our yielded lives.
The connection is all important to our Christian lives. Jesus put it this way: “Remain in me.” This is a word (in the original) that indicates a permanent connection – to stay, to continue, to endure. Many translations have: “Abide in me.” It indicates a permanent state, a permanent commitment, a permanent residence.
It is always a temptation to want Jesus on our terms. To have Him close when we want Him to be there, and then to go it “on our own” when we don’t. In this mindset, Jesus is our help when we are in trouble. Our Healer when we are hurting. Our Peace when turmoil comes. But once the tough time has passed, we tend to put Him back “on the shelf” until we feel that we need Him again. Jesus is more like our part-time Savior… and only when we feel that we need saving.
But, for the true Christian, there is never a time when we don’t need Jesus. He is the Source of everything we need, at all times. Our circumstances are irrelevant. All that matters is that we are abiding in Him, and He is abiding in us – and the proof of His Presence is the fruit of God’s work coming through our lives.
Jesus is clear. This is what He is looking to see in those who would claim Him as Lord and Savior. By our trust in Him, we get IN the Vine… and stay IN the Vine – so the Vine can display the Father’s glory through us.
Prayer Focus: God, lead my heart to see the strength of my connection with Jesus… so that You may be displayed vividly through my life — bearing fruit to Your glory.