Specific Text - John 15:1-8
A couple of years ago at the High School retreat, we focused in on this passage, and other passages like it, which indicate that a Christian's life should result in fruit - good actions that improve the lives of others and the world around us. We talked about the difference between producing fruit, where we busily try and manufacture good deeds in our own strength like what the Pharisees did, and bearing fruit, which is the Biblical idea of letting the Holy Spirit work through you.
This is an important concept, especially since so many people, even Christians, are caught up in this endless exhausting cycle of trying to produce their own fruit. But as we read this passage again today, the necessary condition for bearing fruit is that you remain in Christ. Just as the branches must remain connected to the vine, you must remain connected to your savior.
This is a pretty simple concept, of course, but the difficulty comes in once you realize that nearly everything in the world can be a type of pruning shear that the devil uses to cut you away from Jesus. Even things that seem really, really good, such as church or school activities, can become a sharp sickle working to cut you away from Christ. You need to constantly remain vigilant that this doesn't happen to you, because in verse 6, Jesus indicates that branches that do not remain connected to Him will be thrown in the fire and burned.
It might begin to seem like a broken record this summer, but Spiritual Disciplines are the way in which you remain in the vine. It starts with a copious amount of Bible intake, both hearing it proclaimed as you do on Sundays, and reading & studying it like you are now. Meditate on it throughout the day, and this will naturally lead to you praying at all times as the Bible instructs.
When you continue to make these things a priority, you will bear fruit in every activity you participate in.
Prayer For The Day: Dear Father, there are so many things in life that can easily pry me away from you. Thank you for these disciplines that you have given me to help me remain in you. Keep me motivated and strengthened to continue to cling to you so that I bear fruit in all I do. Amen.