A Branch That Bears Fruit
Apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5, NIV).
Have you been making fruit-bearing more complicated and difficult than it is? Have you worn yourself out until you are discouraged over the lack of fruitfulness in your own service and resentful of others for the fruitfulness in theirs? Then I have wonderful news for you! You can relax! Not only are you freed from trying hard to bear fruit, you are freed from trying at all! That’s the secret!
As simplistic as it may sound, fruit is produced on a branch that is attached to a vine. Jesus clearly told His disciples, “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:5, NIV). So there is no guesswork about our position in His illustration. For a branch to have fruit-bearing potential, it must be alive. Since it has no life of its own, it must be organically attached to the vine so that the sap, or life, of the vine flows up through the trunk and into the branch. Fruit-bearing is all about being connected to the Vine. The branch bears the fruit, it doesn’t produce the fruit.