August 10 I Monday
“This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.” —John 15:8
What I find sad in our world today is that there are some people who do not realize they are stuck in the Old Testament approach to God. Of the people I meet with, some think that their good behaviour and devout life will earn them a place in heaven. Others even go to church regularly, thinking, “If I go to church on Sundays and I am a really good person, God will accept me.” Yet, as I press deeper into the conversation, it becomes evident that they do not have a deep personal relationship with Jesus. They just go to church on Sunday, but from Monday to Saturday, they live as they please.
When we cultivate a relationship with Jesus and truly remain in Him, He starts to transform us from the inside out. Jesus tells us, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:1-2). Jesus uses simple imagery of a vine to illustrate “If you remain in Me, if you cultivate, abide and make your home in Me, fruitfulness will show up in your life.” Fruit starts to be produced in our life because we remain in the vine.
What we know of vine and branches is that branches do not support the vine. On the contrary, the vine is what supports the branches. In fact, it is the sap from the vine that produces fruit in the branches. This is why Jesus says to His disciples, “Remain in Me, as I also 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” (John 15:4).
If we were to go up to the vine and cut off one of the branches, the sap would no longer flow. After a few days, the branch would start to wither, dry up and eventually become yard waste. Jesus warns us, “If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned” (John 15:6).
Apart from Jesus, we can try really hard but produce nothing. If we were relying on our own self-sufficiency, our own effort and our own sense of moral goodness, would we drop those bags that we are carrying and embrace Jesus so that He will start to produce in us what we cannot produce for ourselves? We prove ourselves to be His disciples when we bear good fruits.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, You are indeed the true vine. I desire to remain in You because apart from You, I can do nothing. Produce in me good fruits to show that I am truly Your disciple. Thank You, Lord.