4 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. 5 “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. 6 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.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Just like sap flows into a branch and gives it life and allows it to bear fruit, so does the Spirit flow into our lives and produce fruit when we are connected to Jesus.
This is good news for me because by human standards I’m not really gifted in anything. I struggle to even write these devotionals! Praise God I don’t need to trust in my own knowledge or skills. It is not our deeds, not how much we know about something, not an act of our own will, nothing of our own attempts that makes us bear fruit. What freedom! We don’t need to compare ourselves to anyone else or try to measure up to someone. We just need to remain in him and he will remain in us and produce fruit for his glory.
How can we be connected to Jesus? When we pray and talk to him, when we meditate on his word and allow him to talk to us, when we rest in the fullness of his love. When we allow his word to live in us, not as a guest but as the authority over our lives. This then transforms our desires as well, and when we ask for more fruit he has promised to give it.
Meditate on this for a while and take joy. Praise God for this gift and the freedom from trying to measure up on our own strength. It is true!