Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Nature’s Example of How to Bear Good Fruit
“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.”.

Imagine a vibrant, fruitful apple tree.  Year after year it produces crispy, delicious apples for everyone who passes by.  One day after a storm, a branch falls off the tree.  It lies by the side of the tree and when the spring comes, that branch tries to produce an apple but it can’t!  All his fellow branches are producing crispy delicious apples again but this branch is drying up - even his leaves are falling off.  He tries to muster up everything inside him to create at least one apple – but we all know what will happen.  Even with all its effort, the branch disconnected from the tree will end up frustrated but fruitless.  This is basically the story of Jesus’ parable of the vine and branches.  Jesus says “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).
When life’s problems come our way, our first instinct is often to try to find the solution ourselves. We want to figure out the answer and work hard to change the outcome – we put all our mental, emotional, and physical effort into it.  We rely on our own wisdom and strength but often we come out like the disconnected branch – frustrated but fruitless.  But the interesting thing about a branch that is connected to the vine is that the work of producing fruit really belongs to the vine.  It is the vine that draws the water and nutrients out of the soil and sends it to the branches to produce fruit.  Similarly we have access to Christ – who is ready and able to do the work of producing fruit in our lives.  He knows how to fix our problems, and can give us the strength to tackle our daily struggles and even bless others through the process.  He does however require one thing from us – to remain connected to Him.  “Remain in me, and I will 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.” (John 15:4)

If you have an insurmountable mountain in front of you – or even a small hill – remember to remain in Christ.  Go to Him FIRST with your problems, your desires, and your goals.  He will guide you, strengthen you and produce good fruit in you.  Also, the word REMAINING or ABIDING in Christ suggests that we need to stay connected to Him daily - for the long run.  Practically, that means spending time reading His Word, praying, worshiping, spending time in fellowship with other believers, and seeking Godly counsel.  Focus today on reconnecting with Christ and He will do the work of producing fruit in you. Then even YOU will be surprised at what He has done through you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for wandering away from You so often and trying to do things on my own. I love you Lord and want to spend today and everyday walking with You by my side.  Please hold my hand and lead me, and I will follow. Amen

Thought for the Day: What are you trying to do on my own that you need to submit to God first?  Let Him do the work of bearing fruit in you.

Dr. Betsy Mathew , Epiphany M T C, NY.