John 15:4 (NIV)
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.
How can you obtain the fruit that Jesus encouraged us to bear?
The bad news is that no one can bear such fruit.
The good news is that this fruit comes naturally if we remain in Jesus the Christ.
In other words, we cannot obtain these delicious, mouth-watering fruit by ourselves. We have to step aside and hand control to our King of Kings. We must stop depending on our own "clever" initiatives, and start depending upon Jesus Himself.
Let's think about this for a moment. Just how does fruit develop on a vine or tree? First of all, it must stay connected to the plant, and secondly, it must drink water! And in order to drink water, it must thirst! The Scriptures refer to God's Holy Spirit, our Counselor in all things, as water. Therefore we must thirst after God's Spirit!
"'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.' By this he meant the Spirit" John 7:37-39.
I remember as a young boy drinking water from a mountain stream in Colorado. It was so sparkling and so pure. Why was it so pure? Because it has percolated through rocks as it came down the mountian, making it exceptionally pure for drinking.
We, too, can drink such pure spiritual water, by spending time with our Maker, the King of Kings of the universe.
We keep ourselves quite busy in this life, to the point that it seems like we can't even catch a breath of fresh air. But are all of our activities, no matter how important they seem, really worth the stress we are going through?
If we had been that busy when we encountered our spouse, would we have had the time to fall in love with one another? Or would we have missed the love of our lives?
Have you noticed that when we are so much on the run, there isn't even time to take a sip of water? Have you observed that no matter how long you spend on all the small stuff, you never get a handle on it? The work never ends. And neither does the stress!
Are we missing something by mimicking the world around us? Isn't taking time to be with God much more satisfying than anything else? Isn't loving our family and friends of much more importance than running around like a beheaded chicken?
Maybe, just maybe, this is why our fruit rarely grows and maybe, just maybe, this is why we have a hard time noticing God at work in our neighborhood.
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name" John 15:16.
Do we want results? Maybe it is time to slow down and think about what really matters in life. If we can't hear from God, maybe, just maybe we have fallen into the trap of busy…ness, neglecting what matters the most.
Dear Lord, help us take the time to drink the water of life, breath the fresh air, take the time to enjoy the life that You have given to us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.