John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
God does not want to do it for you, but with, in and through you.
The image of the vine and the branch is a powerful and real image of our connection to Jesus. Vine: He is the source. Branch: we are the conduit. In order for fruit to be produced, the plant requires the vine and the branches.
Simple truth: we need Jesus. Without him we can produce nothing of his Kingdom, of his character, of his power, for his glory. Without him there is no eternal life. But without us nothing can be produced either. His kingdom does not come, his power is not released, his character is not manifested in the world except THROUGH us. If we do not abide, if we do not surrender to his leadership, trust in his provision, rely and depend on him, then the life that is in him will not flow through us to produce fruit. In order for the redemptive Kingdom of God to manifest in our lives and in this world we must be connected to the vine.
This is why faith is the essential response to the grace of God. In Fact, Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it impossible to please God. Grace is his work; faith is our response. As Paul says in Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith….” Notice God’s work of healing and redemption (saved) is by grace AND through faith. Not one or the other, but his grace and our faith cooperating.
What God wants to produce for us in this world must flow in and through us. God wants us to be fruitful. He wants to bless us and make us a blessing to the world. He wants his redemptive kingdom manifested in the world. He has provided all we need through the finished work of the cross and the ongoing work of his Spirit. And we are the conduits. Our participation is essential. He has decided that he will do nothing on earth except through the willingly participation of human beings. Why? Because he gave us this world as our home to manage (see Genesis 1-2). He gave us dominion over this world. We are responsible. And so his work of redemption must flow in and through us. He will not bypass you or your will. He won’t produce something without a transformation of your character and an alignment of your will. He does not want to do something for you but with, in and through you.
This is why our intimate connection of trust and dependence on the Lord is vital. That is why Jesus calls us to ABIDE. This is why our character development is vital. This is why we need our mind renewed, our souls sanctified by the transforming power of the preached Word of God. This is why submission to his leadership and to healing community is vital. Everything he produces must done with us and flow in and through us.
Want to start a friendship with God or deepen it? Next steps.
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