Abide in the Vine
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4
My favorite season of the year is Spring. Sunshine, warmth, blue skies and more sun. I can almost feel my vitamin D levels rising. I love seeing all the buds on the trees, the flowers as they slowly break through the hard ground and start to grow from the warmth of the sun. Soon the flowers will be blooming and the trees budding.
We have a big purple lilac bush beside our fence that I love to cut off several stems and bring them inside to enjoy their smell and beauty for a few days. When they are fresh and flourishing, they are breathtaking! If they’d stay that way, that would be wonderful. But I dread when they start to slowly wither and die. I try to keep them alive as long as possible by trimming the stems and pulling off the dead flowers, but I know that they will eventually die, because they have been cut off from their source of life.
Jesus paints a similar picture in John 15, when He talks about Himself as the grapevine and His followers as the branches. If we remain in Him, we will flourish and bear much fruit, but apart from Him we can do nothing.
Stop a minute and think about the strength of Jesus’ statement here. He is not saying that apart from Him we can do some good things, but that to truly flourish we are better with Him. He is saying that apart from Him, we can do nothing. We are completely dependent on Him for our life, our power, our impact for Him and His Kingdom.
As I read about the branches that are detached from the vine being thrown away and deemed useless, I picture those dying flowers. I want to make sure that I’m not one of them, and I want to do all that I can to help others avoid the same fate.
If there’s one thing sadder than a withering bunch of flowers, it’s a withering Christian. So, how can we make sure that we flourish as followers of Jesus? In one sense, it’s simple: remain in Him. How that works out practically will be different for each of us – there’s not a one-size-fits-all formula – but the starting point is recognizing our dependence on Him. That is what is going to help us to flourish.
If we recognize that, we will naturally do the things that keep us close to Him. We will read His Word because we know we need to hear His voice. We will pray because we know we need His help and guidance. We will join with other believers because we know that we can strengthen and encourage one another to flourish in our walk of faith. In order to flourish, we must remain deeply rooted.
Why not take a moment to consider what steps you can take today to enable you to flourish?
Have a blessed day!