Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine;
so neither can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me, and I in him,
the same beareth much fruit:
for apart from me ye can do nothing.
(John 15:4-5 ASV)
Jesus’ words search me in various ways here:
As one branch connected to the Vine, I desire to look good, with lots of healthy green leaves. But God is not concerned with looks. He did not plant the Vine for decoration but for fruit. Am I concerned with appearances, or the goal at hand?
Assuming I desire fruit, why do I desire it? The Father placed me in Christ so that I would bear much fruit for Him. Is my desire to satisfy myself or get the admiration of others, or is it purely to satisfy God?
Twice Jesus stated the absolute necessity of abiding in Him to produce fruit. I can do nothing without Him. But do I really believe this? How essential do I view my connection to Christ for hour-by-hour living?
Awareness of my need to abide in Christ is good, but am I really abiding in Him? It is very easy to fool myself here. Abiding in Christ is not just listening to Him or agreeing with Him but doing what He says. Do I do what He says?