Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5 NIV).

Within this one verse, Jesus reminds us of an essential truth, issues an important challenge, and makes an eternal promise.

The essential truth.
"I am the vine; you are the branches ... apart from me you can do nothing." It is absolutely essential that I remember that He is the vine, that I am a branch, and that apart from Him I can do nothing. Being connected to Him is essential to my spiritual life. I cannot make it alone in this world. Though there are times when I think I am big enough, and strong enough, and mature enough to strike out on my own, I cannot. I must be connected to the vine in order to live the life I have been called to live.

Are you bearing much fruit?
The important challenge.
"If a man remains in me and I in him ..." Staying connected to the vine is not always easy. My independent spirit and my stubborn will make me prone to disconnect from the vine so that I can live life my way, not His way. Because I have free will I sometime choose to isolate myself, and distance myself from the vine. The "if" is there obviously for a reason. That part is up to me.

The eternal promise.
"... he will bear much fruit ..." If I remember that He is the vine, that I am a branch, that I must remain connected to Him, I will bear much fruit. There is no uncertainty. There is no perhaps. There is no maybe. I will bear much fruit. My life will not be wasted. God's gift and trust in me will not be wasted. My life will have meaning. I will serve a purpose.

So, how's your spiritual walk this week?

Are you feeling independent and self-sufficient? Be careful, you cannot make it on your own. You need the life-giving resources of the vine.

Are you having a difficult time hanging on to the vine? Are other suppliers of energy looking pretty appealing? You must remain in the vine and allow the vine to remain in you.

Are you bearing much fruit? Are you realizing what a gift God has given you and using it to bring glory to Him? You are seeing the fruit of your labor. Life is good. Keep it up. Live the life you were called to live. Bear the fruit. Enjoy it.

When you remain in Him and he remains in you, you will bear much fruit, because He is the vine, and you are the branch. Let Him use you.