Remain in Me
“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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itslef; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the fine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
As Jesus spoke to his disciples, he used an analogy of a vine and branches to illustrate the importance of remaining connected to him. He said, “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, NIV).
The image of a vine and branches is a powerful one because it shows the interdependence of the parts. Just as a branch cannot survive without being connected to the vine, we cannot bear spiritual fruit without being connected to Jesus. He is the source of our life, and apart from him, we can do nothing.
But what does it mean to be connected to Jesus? It means more than simply acknowledging him as Lord and Savior or attending church on Sundays. It means having an ongoing, intimate relationship with him. It means abiding in him, as he said in John 15:4: “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.”
To remain in Jesus requires us to spend time with him, to pray and meditate on his word, and to obey his commands. It means surrendering our will to his and allowing him to shape us into the people he wants us to be. As we do this, we will begin to bear spiritual fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
But even as we bear fruit, we must remember that it is God who is at work in us, both to will and to act according to his good purpose (Philippians 2:13). We are not the ones producing the fruit; we are simply the branches through which it flows. And just as a gardener prunes a vine to make it more fruitful, God will also prune us as we abide in Jesus, refining us and shaping us to bear even more fruit.
So let us remain in Jesus, the true vine, and allow him to work in us and through us to produce a bountiful harvest of spiritual fruit. As Jesus said in verse 5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.”
FOR IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN YOU TO WILL AND TO ACT IN ORDER TO FULFILL HIS GOOD PURPOSE.