Branches on the Vine

John 15:4
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

It’s not really as complicated as we sometimes make it seem, this life of following Jesus.  We are simply to abide in Him like a branch on a vine.  All a branch does is stay connected and it receives everything it needs to grow and be fruitful, and if it’s no longer connected, then nothing really happens.  So why do we so often try to abide apart from Christ?  Why do we feel we need to go out and accomplish something apart from Him when it is only our life in Him that matters or counts for anything?  Only through Him can we love, serve, give and do as He’s asked us to.

Jesus is willing to abide in us, so will we be willing to abide in Him?  We must find our home, our place, our contentment in Him.  Nothing else will ever provide what He can in the way He can.  Nothing else surpasses all those surface things that we think we need and reaches down into the deepest parts of us and implants a value and a worth and a love that can only be found in Him.  Nothing else can get as deep as He can, and nothing else can make as much of a difference as He can.

And if we love Him, doesn’t that make us want to bear fruit for Him, to do exactly what He wants us to do, and, by so doing, bring Him glory?  And we can’t do that unless we abide in Him.  How will we ever know what He wants us to do if we never talk with Him or spend time with Him?  How will we be enabled and strengthened for the task if we’re not seeking His face and the power of His Spirit?  How will we be ready to answer His call if we’re too far away to hear Him?  We’ll have nothing to give if we’re not getting anything directly from Jesus Himself.

So what kind of branch are we?  Are we clinging tightly to the vine of Christ, depending on Him alone?  Are we drawing our nourishment from Him?  Or have we severed ourselves from Him and found ourselves losing strength?  Are we bearing fruit for our Lord, or are we just taking up space on the vine?  All that we need is contained in our Savior.  Everything we will ever need to serve Him is there within Him.  So let us stay close to the source of our life and draw upon Him as we need to.