Read John 15:1–8
‘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.’ (v5)
A hidden danger of discipleship is that as someone who disciples others, we can think we are the ones that should have all the answers or, as someone being discipled, we can look to the person helping or spiritually guiding us to give us the answers. Either sort of dependency is unhelpful and unscriptural.
The ideal ‘space’ we all need to be in, is one of complete intimacy and dependency on the Lord. In our reading today, Jesus speaks of a ‘come and remain’ space, describing this as a ‘fruitful’ space.
Indeed, to emphasise the essential nature of this space, Jesus tells us that ‘apart from me, you can do nothing’ (v5b).
The ultimate aim of discipleship is for us and those we spiritually encourage to dwell in this ‘remain’ space with Christ, in order that we might bear for the kingdom. All our service, all our relationships should be carried out and developed with this in mind
Over reliance on the Church, or other people can make us fruitless, ‘like a branch that is thrown away and withers’ (v6a). It can be easy for us to lose our focus and purpose as God’s people – forgetting Christ’s call to make disciples.
Yet this is not about encouraging people to follow us – but to follow Christ, to enter into that deep, ‘remain space’ with Him – that they may be able to not only stand firm in life’s trials – but be fruitful for His Kingdom.
A PRAYER TO MAKE:
‘Lord Jesus, help me to enter that “remain space” with You – and to encourage others to do the same. Amen.’
AN ACTION TO TAKE:
How are we nurturing our own intimacy with Christ and how are we encouraging others to do the same?
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER:
Deut. 4:1–14; 2 Chron. 17:1–19; Gal. 5:13–26; Heb. 4:14–16
Photo by Nadine Redlich on Unsplash