Mind if I share a devotional I gave to a group of students this week?
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:1-5; NASB).
- We are called to bear fruit.
- Jesus is the Source for our fruit-bearing.
- Apart from Jesus, we cannot produce fruit.
“‘except ye abide in me’ – which strongly expresses the necessity of abiding in Christ by fresh repeated acts of faith” (John Gill)
“I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing” (John 15:1-5; The Message).
“Fresh repeated acts of faith”
Surely this means our utilizing the means of grace purposefully. Going to church for the right reasons. Praying like we mean it. Reading God’s Word carefully. We do these activities regularly. But it is the how we do them which determines whether or not they are “fresh.”
As I conclude another week, I am thankful for Jesus’ admonition. I need to abide. I cannot accomplish anything of eternal significance apart from an intimate connection to Him. And–I need to ensure that my repeated acts of faith are fresh. In other words, I need to remain engaged, seeking first His kingdom and righteousness (Mt. 6:33), loving God with heart, soul, mind and strength (Lk. 10:27). We all do.
Thanks for stopping by the blog! Have a great week!