April 4, 2014
READ: John 15:1-8
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing (v.5).
Assigned with keeping up my mum’s garden while she was out of town, my kids and I headed into her garden to see the anticipated jungle. Walking out from the patio, we were greeted by a messy bed of veggies as some of the string-bean tendrils stood out like cowlicks in an otherwise orderly row. As we worked, my son explained the necessity of coaxing the wayward tendrils onto the runners: left unsupported, the weight of the growing beans would pull the vine to the ground where it would become more vulnerable to pests and its produce would be damaged.
In John 15:5, Jesus tells us, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” Clearly He is our all-sufficient source of life and any fruit we bear comes from Him. He calls us into relationship with others, as He places us within the framework of His body, the church. We were not created to develop spiritually on our own. He made us to be connected to something beyond ourselves (v.4).
While no individual should ever replace our dependency on the Word or Holy Spirit, God places people in our lives to provide a framework of support for our spiritual growth. Jesus showed us that true discipleship happens within the context of relationships.
Becoming humble enough to learn from others isn’t easy, whether the instruction comes from brothers beside us or leaders above us (Philippians 2:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:11). But the more we stay connected to other believers in Jesus, the greater the opportunity we have to bear much fruit. —Regina Franklin
2 Samuel 9:1-13 ‹365-day plan
Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and consider how godly relationships can train us not only to engage, but also to defeat the enemies of our faith.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how connected are you to your local church? In what ways are you actively seeking to be discipled within the body of Christ?