In John 15:1 and the following verses Jesus speaks of himself as the true vine; the Father is the gardener. Jesus’ followers are the branches. It doesn’t take much for a gardener to realize that a branch has to stay attached to the plant to stay alive. Just a quick look around the neighborhoods of us who have had ice storms this winter will attest to that fact – broken tree branches laying everywhere! No one expects those branches to produce in the coming spring and summer. We gather them up for fire wood.
So it is with us. If we do not keep our little branches attached to the vine (Jesus), we cannot stay alive spiritually speaking. An incomplete connection makes for a weak branch. Anyway, I shared all of the above verses with us to bring us to this one. Jesus says in John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” [emphasis mine]. In the above verses, Jesus points out over and over again that he can do nothing without the Father. If nothing is where Jesus lived, it sounds like it would be a good place for us to live also, wouldn’t you think? I have to remind myself every now and then that it is not my job to create great works for God. My job is simply staying attached to the vine, and then the fruit comes, compliments of the vine.
This idea is one of those times the saying in life applies: Simple, but not easy.
Let’s pray: Father, we long to do great works for you. Please help us remember that the works are yours, not ours and as long as we stay in close contact with Jesus you will produce in us fruit perfectly matched to our abilities and life circumstances. In Jesus name.