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Scripture

[ecko_quote source="John 15:5"]I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

On my birthday, my dear ones bought me cakes and bouquets. The flowers looked fresh and full of fragrance. What was interesting and rather common is the fact that they were still attached to the little branches. My wife carefully unwrapped them and put them in a flower vase. Since the vase was placed in the living room, I could smell the fragrance for a few days. However, the intensity of this fragrance grew weaker as the days progressed. Although my wife regularly cared for them by adding water and keep it away from too much sunlight. We saw that after two or three weeks the flowers faded, the branches dried up, and it looked dead. In the end, it had to be thrown away. It was of no use to us.

In the above verse, Jesus provided an excellent illustration to help us clearly understand the relationship we should have with Him, the Almighty God. He said He is the vine, and we are the branches. We live by abiding in Him. In other words, we get our strength and energy only by abiding in Him. No branch can live, let alone, produce leaves and fruit by itself. Therefore, we need to depend on being connected to Him for our spiritual growth, to serve effectively, and to love others. But sadly, we as branches always want to be independent away from the vine or the trunk. Of course, a branch wanting to be away from the vine, might not show signs of death immediately but it really is dead the minute it was separated from the branch. Eventually, the signs will appear and wanting to join back into the branch just wouldn't work. It's dead already.

When we abide in Him, we gain strength and power that facilitates us to become stronger in Him and eventually produce fruit. The fruit we produce is that of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). (Please beware my dear ones that it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit not fruits of the Holy Spirit). Our source of life and spiritual fruit is NOT within OURSELVES; it is outside of us. It is in Jesus Christ. We can live rightly, and serve Him only when we are rightly connected to Him in faith and love. All true branches bear fruit.

All true branches bear much fruit. Just as we know a healthy, living tree by the good fruit it produces, so we recognise fruitless branches as having no connection to the true Vine. This is why Jesus tells us, “By their fruit, you will know them” (Mathew 7:16-20). Is the fruit present or absent in your life? It’s a simple test. Just check for yourself if you have those attributes of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. If absent, it is evident that you are not abiding in Him. The Apostle Paul summarised it in this way "for in Him we live and move and have our being, ….For we are also His offspring." (Acts 17:28).

Further, our Lord challenged us that without Him we cannot do anything. Just as the branches, we also can do nothing without abiding in the vine. Foolishly many times we venture to solve problems with our own strength and capacity not knowing that the branches can do nothing without abiding in Him. No believer can achieve any spiritual value independently of Jesus.

What's next?

No one can serve God efficiently until they connect with Jesus Christ by faith. Jesus is our only connection with the Father who gives us life and who produces in us a fruitful life of righteousness and true service.

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