"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
The other day, I felt manly. There are certain times, certain moments, when it feels good to be a MAN. If there is one place that helps achieve those moments, it is Home Depot. I walk into that store and I feel tougher. I start looking down aisles and try to imagine myself fixing something. This particular trip to Home Depot was especially sweet because I was buying a new power tool (insert manly grunt here). I go into the part of the store that has what I am looking for. I start with the big expensive professional stuff and then work my way back to reality. I find what will suit my needs, purchase it, and then go home. I open the box and begin to put the drill together when I notice this giant tag hanging from the battery pack. It reads:
"This tool will not work if the battery is not plugged in. A charged battery must be connected properly to use this tool."
Really? That needs to be stated? I just bought a cordless battery operated drill. How stupid are people? Then it hit me, sometimes people forget where the real power comes from.
Jesus reminds His disciples in John 15 that if they want to be fruitful in ministry, they need to be connected to Him...always. He is reminding them that He is the true vine and they are the branches. If the branches try to make it on their own without the life-giving power of the vine, they die. It is impossible for branches to produce fruit, let alone live at all, if they are not connected to the vine. He is getting them ready for their task to come and that was to go out into the world and change it forever with the good news of Jesus Christ. The fruit they were called to produce is the same fruit we are called to produce today. The fruit is seeing lives changed through the power and message of Jesus Christ. Thus, we, as branches, must be connected to Him in order to see that life change in our own life and in the lives of others. Every thought, every desire, every word, every action, every motive, and every breath must be connected to Christ. Maybe as followers of Christ, we should come with this tag attached to us:
"If you want your life to matter, you must be plugged in to Christ. His power and His Spirit must be connected properly to you in order to be used for world change."
Sometimes, tags are obvious, but they always serve as a good reminder.
God, help me to stay connected to You. Continue to draw me closer to You each and every day. Through Your power and Your strength, help me to have fruit that will last for Your Kingdom. Make me a branch that produces that change in the lives of others.
Posted on Wed, June 22, 2011
by Doug Story