Jesus is the vine. We are the branches.
On the night before He died, Jesus spent time with His disciples. The disciples had been with Him day and night. They had learned to rely on His wisdom and trust His leadership. The time was coming, however, when Jesus would be crucified, resurrected, and ascend to heaven. They would be required to relate to Jesus in a different way.
That night, as Jesus and His disciples walked through a vineyard on the Mount of Olives, Jesus used a cluster of grapes to give them an object lesson. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned,” John 15.5-6 NLT.
Just like a branch has to stay connected to the vine in order to produce fruit, Jesus’ disciples needed to stay connected to Him. If they didn’t, they would spiritually wither and their efforts to make an eternal difference would amount to nothing. The key to their spiritual lives was to remain in Jesus, to abide in Him, to depend upon Him to provide them with wisdom and leadership through the Holy Spirit.
What does living a fruitful life means?
Living a fruitful life means that your life makes an eternal difference in the lives of the people around you. Specifically, a fruitful life results in others coming to trust in Jesus and follow Him because of you. That’s the kind of fruit that will last forever. It’s also the kind of fruit that brings glory to God (John 15.8 NLT).
When you tell other people about Jesus, you are producing fruit with your life. In one of His parables, Jesus talks about three men who were entrusted with resources. The first two men maximized their resources and ended up with more than they started. The third man buried what he was given in a hole.
The first two men receive the same words of approval, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” Matthew 25.21, 23 NLT. The third man is criticized for not doing more with what he had. When you use your time, energy, money, skills, and relationships to advance the gospel of Jesus, you are maximizing your resources, investing in eternity, and living a fruitful life.
Romans 14.12 NLT says, “Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.” One day God is going to evaluate our lives to see how fruitful we have been with what we were given. If we know that day is coming, it would be wise to plan ahead for it. Are you living a fruitful life?
In the end, the pleasures and passions of the world are nothing compared to the beauty and blessing of knowing God and making Him known.
This blog features an excerpt from one of Student Series our books, Reach Your World.