"I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so that they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing."
Jesus (as recorded in John 15:1-5, New Living Translation)
Stay on mission with Jesus
How do we make sure to stay on mission with Jesus? In the last post, we discussed that it is easy to get sidetracked from Jesus' mission of reconciling people to God and onto a mission of our own making. So, how can we stay focussed on what Jesus invites us to do? The Apostle John tells us that we need to stay connected to Jesus.
What does it mean to stay connected to Jesus?
I believe that remaining in Jesus means spending time with him in prayer and through reading the Bible. It means a conscious awareness of his presence and a choice to follow his leading. It means allowing him to change us from the inside out.
Why do all that? The Bible tells us that if we stay connected to Jesus and his words remain in us we will see clear evidence that we are on track. Among them:
- We will bear fruit - in fact if we stay close to him we will bear much fruit
- We will be pruned - this means God will allow hardships in our lives to refine us
- Jesus will be close to us and in us
- We will not be discarded
- We will be able to be useful
If we remain connected to Jesus, he promises to stay in us. Fruit will only grow when we remain in the vine - in Jesus. Apart from him we can do nothing worthwhile or lasting.
How are you doing with Jesus and his mission?