by Chaplain Tricia Dimmitt
Shelby Baptist Medical Center.
“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 words of Jesus in John 15 teach us the importance of abiding in Christ. The Lord knows that we are less effective unless we remain in Him. In fact, verse five seems to indicate that we are completely ineffective without Christ (“…apart from me you can do nothing.”). When we choose to live in our own strength or when we solely depend on our gifts and talents without inviting Christ’s power to work through us, we are missing an important component of the Christian life. Faith. Jesus models for us a life that is dependent on God. He says, “I am the vine; and my Father is the gardener” (v.1). Jesus spent time alone with His Father; He prayed, asked God for help, and walked in an intimate fellowship with the Lord. Our faith grows through consistent personal times of prayer, waiting, remaining and abiding in Christ.
Jesus became human in order to show us how to be truly human. The glory of our humanity is not only in our independence and strength, but also (if not more so) in our dependence and our weakness. We learn the most about God, and about ourselves, when we choose to surrender to God and to others. Living in submission with God and within the community of fellow humans, opens our eyes to see who we really are and who God really is. The link that binds us together is love.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you…. Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:9, 12-13).