Week Six - Day One
The Bible is the connection to living in Christ
John 15:1-8 - “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 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. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
This chapter of John is right in the middle of a long goodbye speech from Jesus to his disciples. Shortly after this, he would be arrested in the garden and put on “trial” (John 18). But before the events of his death and resurrection, Jesus was not only comforting his disciples, but also preparing them for the work ahead of them. “I am the vine,” he said, “and you are the branches” (v. 5). Branches that are connected to the vine are fruitful and have life. But branches that are disconnected dry up and wither; there is no fruit, no life. Abide means to “remain in.” Jesus explains that apart from him, we can do nothing; a fruitful life depends on remaining in Jesus. Then, abiding means spending time in God’s word, so we know his heart and character more deeply (v. 7). This practically looks like spending time in prayer, so we can know the will of God in any given situation. 1 John 2:6 continues this idea: “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he [Jesus] walked.” It means loving our neighbor with a practical and generous love that is motivated by our love for him. It means humbling ourselves and seeking his glory over our own glory at home, at work, in our neighborhoods, in the car and at church. We will fail at this if we attempt it in our own strength or our own motivation and ability. Jesus knew we’d be tempted to try, so in this passage he gives a gentle warning: what- ever is ahead, you cannot do it alone; don’t disconnect yourself from me.
• What areas of your life have seen fruit due to abiding in Jesus?
• In what areas is your heart disconnected from Jesus?
• What might you need to surrender in order to remain connected to the vine?
• Pray prayers of thankfulness that Jesus invites us to be connected to him in all things today.