April 28, 2018
John 15:1-5…“Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” vs. 4
While faith is a great gift for followers of Jesus, there is nothing more important in their lives than bearing fruit. Over and over Jesus hammered this home in his teaching. We can have proper theologies and know all the creeds but, if we don’t show love in our relationships with others, we are useless. We’re like dead branches, good only for kindling fires. And the key to being productive, to bearing good fruit, is staying connected to Jesus, by abiding in the vine. This isn’t to say that non-Christians, people of other faiths, can’t bear fruit. They can and do, but that only happens when they’re connected to the power of the Spirit, by whatever name they might want to call it. It’s that power beyond ourselves, we call it Christ power, that gives us the energy and the raw materials for fruit production. We just can’t do it on our own. For us, that power flows in regularly in our worship, prayer, and meditation, as we take a break from stress and anxiety to fill up our empty tanks with the good news of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. As we’re fueled by the gospel and empowered by the Spirit, we discover avenues for loving service every single day, and the Christ who abides in us brings healing and peace to the needy. What a blessing it is to be connected to the vine!
Thought for the Day: How do I maintain my connections to the vine?