Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “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. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”- John 15:4-6
Insight: if you’ve ever seen a flourishing vineyard, what you see is a beautiful picture of how a branch bears fruit simply because of its secure connection to the Vine. It doesn’t labor, spin or toil, it simply reaps the benefits from being directly connected to its power source in the Vine. If for any reason it were to become disconnected from the Vine, the branch would offer nothing of value, and it would simply shrivel up and die. No fruit could grow there.
In John 15:4 above we see a picture of how our relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit mirrors this same relationship. We are the branches and Lord Jesus is the Vine. If we remain connected to Him, we will bear or produce much fruit. Apart from Him we are told “we can do nothing.” In other words, nothing that will have real eternal value will be produced by us apart from Christ. So, our job as followers of Christ is simply to remain connected to Him, so we can become more like Him, and thus produce an abundant, eternal harvest. How do we do this? Jeremiah 29:13 offers sage counsel when it says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” We stay connected by seeking Him, by thinking of him constantly, by praying to him, by reading scripture, by meditating on his word and by listening for his responses. Like any meaningful relationship, we stay connected through time spent in His presence. As a good friend of mine once said, we can fake a lot of things in life, but we can’t fake showing up. When it comes to spending time with Jesus, we need to show up. If not, we risk being disconnected from our true power source, the Vine, and that can lead to disastrous results. We may appear to be thriving for a short period of time, but eventually like a withered branch we will stop producing any good fruit. However, when we are connected, we can ease into bearing the fruit in our life that is produced naturally from us abiding in our relationship with Him. Like branches produce grapes not as a result of any effort on their own, but simply because of their connection to the Vine, the same will be true of our lives when we are connected to Christ. Our hearts become our garden, our thoughts the roots, our words are the flowers and our deeds the fruits that naturally flow from us because of us being connected to Jesus and Him living in and through us. No striving required.