Remain in Christ
It was pretty windy in our area last night. While I lay in bed, I could hear the wind howling and blowing against our house. This morning, you could see debris strewn about the neighborhood. Seeing branches broken off the trees and all the leaves around made me think…why couldn’t our gardeners have come today instead of last week? Oh well :). But it also made me think about Jesus’ words in John 15:4-5 which says, “Remain in me, as I also 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 you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
The illustration here in Jesus’ teaching is very clear that in order to be healthy and produce good godly things in our lives, we must constantly stay connected and be in relationship with Him. Trying to grow in the Lord apart from a relationship with Jesus is futile. It’s like expecting a branch lying on the sidewalk to bear fruit. It’s just not possible. J.C. Ryle, a 19th century Anglican pastor, said, “To abide in Christ means to keep up a habit of constant close communion with Him – to be always leaning on Him, resting on Him, pouring out our hearts to Him, and using Him as our Fountain of life and strength, as our chief companion and best friend.” It’s clear that, as believers, our lives are to be intertwined with Him.
Again, when I look at Jesus’ words, the beautiful thing about abiding in Him is that He will abide in us, and fruit will naturally happen. Fruit is a natural consequence of abiding in Christ. God does not call us to struggle and grind it out on our own to do good works. He calls us to abide in Him. However, like a windstorm, there will be things that try to pull us apart from Him and separate us from the vine. In those times, we must remain faithful to the Lord. As Jesus said, He is the vine and we are the branches. If we remain in Him, He will remain in us, and we will bear much fruit.
Have a great week!