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)
Jesus knows our tendency to run ahead of Him or to fall behind. He knows how easy it is for us to do things in our own strength until we reach our point of exhaustion. Even our own determination is not sufficient enough to keep us from burning out. So, Jesus asks us to do one simple thing: to remain in Him.
He is our true vine. We are grafted into Him by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, and by faith in Him alone. Our salvation is worked out by trusting in Him, seeking His direction, and learning how to follow in His ways. As a branch, we cannot exist by our own volition, but rather we depend upon Jesus for everything for life and godliness.
If we want to see the fruit of God in our lives, then we must remain in Jesus. God’s desire is to produce His fruit within us and to prune our branches so that we can bear more fruit. His fruit is the manifestation of His presence within us, and there are many benefits to the display of His fruit:
- His joy gives us strength
- His peace guards our hearts and our minds and it remains with us
- His love removes all fear, disarms hate, and shows how we are known
- His patience teaches us how to persevere in the midst of trials and tribulations
- His kindness turns away wrath and leads us to repentance
- His gentleness calms the weary, soothes the aching soul, and invites us to rest
- His faithfulness remains with us as a constant reminder of His presence
- His generosity exceeds anything we could possibly ask or imagine
- His self-control helps to consider a more godly response in the midst of our own immaturity.
Help us to remain in you, for you are the true vine, and we are your branches. May our Heavenly Father continue to prune us, and may the Holy Spirit continue to lead us so that we can become mature branches bearing much fruit. Amen.