“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 15:5 (NIV)
Do you want to bear an abundance of fruit for me? Yes Lord, I want to bear an abundance of fruit for you. Bearing an abundance of fruit for me will not come through your hard efforts. On your own you could work tirelessly and never bear lasting fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. I do not want to see you live a futile and fruitless life. Your own efforts give me no pleasure no matter how hard you work.
What does give you pleasure? You tell me. I know that apart from you I can do nothing. How do you know that? Both your word and my experience tell me that I can do nothing apart from you. Many times I have worked myself ragged with my own efforts and bore no lasting fruit that would bring glory to your name. That’s right.
Do you believe my word? Do you trust what I am saying to you? Yes Lord, I believe in you and trust your word. What does my word say about how I have designed you? You have made me to live in a close and intimate relationship with you. That’s right. You are my source. I need to remain connected to you. Every good and perfect thing that I have received comes from you. You are the one who will give me power and strength to serve you. You are the one that will enable me to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. Yes, I will.
How will you remain connected to me? How will you live in a close and intimate relationship with me? I will set aside a special place and a specific time to meet with you. I will meet with you in your word. I will talk with you in prayer. I will give thanks and praise and worship to you for all that you have done, are doing and will do in my life. I will follow you to where you lead me. I will do what you ask of me. I will listen to your voice as you speak to me. I will sit quietly with you in your presence. In every way, I will draw near to you as you draw near to me. I will live in total dependence on you. I will rely on you to help me to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. I will allow you to work in and through me as I love, follow and serve you. I will live in close fellowship with others in your body. I will give and receive encouragement from them as I live my life with and for you. In all these ways I will remain vitally connected in an intimate relationship with you. That will be very good.
Lord, thank you that you are the vine and I am one of your branches. You made me to be vitally connected to you. You sustain and strengthen and empower me to bear an abundance of fruit as I remain in you. That is what I will continue to do. Amen
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