This is one of two parts put together by Jordan Loftis as a follow-up to our retreat: Deeper Rhythms in the Life of a Worshiper. Whether or not you were with us at the retreat, we want to encourage you to use this to spend time in reflection, meditation, prayer… abiding with the Lord. May the Holy Spirit fill your heart and give you joy as you abide in him! -Seth Dekkenga
In John 15, Jesus gave us a picture of what life with him looks like. He said we are the branches holding fast to him, the vine, the source. This means we only have life and purpose when we’re connected with him through the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:2-6).
Branches are grown, stay alive and bear fruit because they stem from the vine.
- They don’t grow because of their uncanny ability to collect and retain the proper nutrients…
- They don’t stay alive because they’re adept at positioning themselves in perfect sunlight and beneath the rain…
- They don’t bear fruit by mustering mountains of willpower and trying extra hard…
They do these things because they are part of the Vine who feeds and nourishes them. In fact, the fruit branches bear has more to do with the Vine than themselves.
Jesus both invites and commands us to abide in himself. This means we live, rest and remain in him. And in this kind of life we are transformed into his image.
Reflect upon where you’ve seen the most spiritual fruit born in your life. How has Jesus been the source of that fruit?
Where do you want to bear spiritual fruit but have been unable (prayer, study, evangelism, worship, etc.)? Have you first focused on abiding in the Vine, or have you rushed to activity, to “doing things” in order to bear fruit?
How does Jesus’ twofold invitation and command to abide in him change the way you view bearing spiritual fruit? Does it give you more hope, confidence and joy that you will see greater fruit in the future? Why or why not?