December 6, 2018
READ: John 15:1-17
Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing (v.5).
After recently changing cable TV service providers, my family struggled to figure out how to view our favourite content. We tried following the same steps we’d utilised with our previous company, but to no avail. Eventually it became clear that a certain connection had to be made in order to gain access to the new provider’s programming archives. The service wasn’t functional without this connection, but once it was in place we were able to unlock its full potential.
Similarly, believers in Jesus are unable to thrive without a deep connection to Him. When Christ described Himself as a vine and His followers as branches, He was illustrating how absolutely dependent we are on Him. “Remain in me, and I will remain in you,” He said. “For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me” (John 15:4). We won’t become everything God intended unless we’re connected to Him. In fact, without an abiding connection to Jesus, we can do nothing (v.5). But by remaining in and connected to Him, we’ll be able to produce much fruit and bring honour to our heavenly Father (v.8).
According to Jesus, the way to remain in His love is to obey His commands by His power (v.10). And Jesus’ most important command is love—to love each other in the same way He has loved us (v.12). By loving the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind, and loving our neighbour as ourselves, the entire law and all the demands of the prophets are fulfilled (Matthew 22:37-40).
As we obey God and walk in His love, we enjoy a deep, abiding connection with Him and His Spirit empowers a life that produces living fruit.
365-day plan: Colossians 3:1-17
Read Galatians 5:13-15 for Paul’s practical tips on how to love one another.
How would you describe your relationships with others? What correlation do you see between those relationships and your connection with Jesus?