Hannah Jones, one of our amazing summer interns, shared a bit from her heart on Sunday morning and shared what it means to be rooted in Christ. A lot of times in life, most of us strive for independence. We think we can handle particular situations on our own and don’t ask for help when in reality we should! Sometimes we just need help! But Jesus says in John 15 that, spiritually speaking, we actually can’t do anything on our own! Jesus says in John 15:1-5,
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also 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. 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…”
If we are disconnected from the Vine (not remaining in Christ) the things that we do will end up glorifying ourselves, and not God - which is a problem, if we claim to follow Christ. Apart from Jesus, we cannot produce the godly, pleasing fruit that God desires from us. But when we do remain in Christ, our actions will show and godly fruit will be produced! Here’s a perfect example that Hannah used on Sunday - middle schoolers helping at Heroes Children’s ministry and earning money for Hume Lake. Two students could both help and serve in the same way, but there could be very different motives, right? One student could serve out for the desire to serve and point kids to Christ, and also happily earn money towards Hume Lake. While another student could serve just purely out of the desire to earn that money towards Hume, to have a fun time in the summer with friends. Both students serving and helping in the same way, with very different end motives.
Remaining in Christ is putting Jesus first in your heart, and your actions, words, and all else will flow from there. When we drift from that, which is easy to do as humans that can tend to be fickle at times, we start to lose that ability to produce godly fruit. We start to focus on things of this world, selfish desires, and lose motivations to glorify God (which should be our number one priority).
Are you rooted in Christ? Are you remaining close to Jesus and producing godly fruit that is pleasing to the Lord? Or are you drifting and not remaining? Let’s listen to the words of Jesus and be encouraged that we are not expected to do this Christian life alone. Jesus desires to help us in every way, if we allow - and this is of utmost importance, because we are told that apart from Him, we can do nothing.