“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. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:5-8 (NIV)
That is what I can do apart from you. What can you do apart from me? I can do nothing apart from you. It took you quite a while to come to that realization. You proudly protested and pointed to achievements you accomplished by yourself, without my help. Yes, I did. Let me ask you a few questions. I’m listening, ask away. What will your accomplishments, done without my help look like in light of eternity? Will they stand the test of time? Will they have value that will last forever? Forever is a very long time. No, I would say that it would be impossible for me to accomplish something of eternal significance without your help. The best trophies and highest accolades I have secured will amount to nothing, in light of eternity. Already in my short life my best trophies have quickly made their way to the dumpster. Most of my highest accolades are already mostly a distant and forgotten memory. It is very good that you have this understanding.
I have many more questions to ask you. You have my full attention. Will you be satisfied with living a life that accomplishes nothing of eternal value? Will you feel good about living a life that did not store up any treasure in heaven with me? One day, from heaven, wouldn’t you like to be able to look back over your life, with me, knowing that you remained vitally connected to me, so that you could bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name? Won’t you be exceedingly glad to know that there will be people in heaven because you allowed me to work in and through your life? Won’t you be filled with joy knowing that you stored up treasure in heaven with me? By treasure, do you mean people who have come to know and love and follow and serve you because you spoke to them through my life and ministry? That is exactly what I mean. I want nothing more than to live a life that is vitally connected to you. I want nothing more than to be powerfully used by you. I will rely on you to work in and though my life so I can bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. And so, you shall and that will be very good.
Lord, for years I lived a life that was self-sufficient and self-reliant. I pridefully relied on myself rather than on you. I lived separated and apart from you. What a dry and barren that life was. Now, I will remain vitally connected to you. Bear fruit through my life. Amen
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The Sacramental Life – Day 333 – John 15-5-8 – Apart From Me – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide
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