Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “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. John 15:4-5 (NIV)
I don’t want to live a fruitless life. I don’t want my life to be filled with lots of activity that will amount to absolutely nothing. I want my life to be filled with meaning and purpose. I want my life to have mattered in light of all eternity. When I come before you, I don’t want to look back on a life that is filled with regret of what I could have accomplished for you. I want to accomplish every purpose and plan that you had in mind when you created me. I don’t want to have missed any opportunity or left anything undone. One day I would like to hear you say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Where do you think all these desires of yours have come from? I think these desires in my heart come from you. You are right about that. You and I both want the same thing. I want you to bear an abundance of fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name.
What must you do if you want to bear an abundance of fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name? I must remain in a vital and intimate and connected relationship with you. That’s right. What would living in a vital, intimate and connected relationship with me look like? That kind of life is observable? Yes, it is. I’m not sure what you mean. What has helped you to remain vitally and intimately connected to me? Meeting you in your word has helped me to remain intimately and vitally connected to you. What else? Talking to you in prayer, meeting with you in worship, and serving you in ministry have all helped me to remain intimately and vitally connected to you. That’s right. Has anything or anyone else encouraged you to live in an intimate relationship with me? Fellow believers have spurred me on and helped me to live in an intimate and connected relationship with you. Receiving encouragement from fellow believers, in a small group, has both challenged and encouraged me to remain vitally connected to you. I have desperately needed encouragement to remain vitally and intimately connected to you. You have encouraged me. You have placed others in my life to encourage me. Yes, I have. Keep on living in an intimate, vital and connected relationship with me. Yes, Lord, I will. Then you will bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name.
Lord, I have been distant. I have been independent. I have been isolated. I want no more of that kind of life. Help me to remain in a vital, intimate and connected relationship with you. I want to bear an abundance of fruit for your kingdom. Amen
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