John 15:1-5 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
How do we produce much fruit? What is the Lord saying?
In the modern world, the work ethic is, achieve and produce by working longer and harder! The focus is on getting results through human effort -- we've become product oriented and the bottom line is......the bottom line! But God's way runs contrary to this approach -- His way is much more oriented toward process and relationship rather than performance and production. He IS interested in results which He calls "fruit"; but not by pushing or egging us on to work harder or longer.
The Lord's way is to work with and through us so that every result or product comes out of our abiding in Him, since without Him WE CAN DO NOTHING.
This is opposed to of the culture we live in today, and to human nature in general. Think about it -- we're constantly bombarded with self-help books promoting self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-control -- our society is all about SELF! But God's way of success produces the results which He values; results which are not produced by self-effort, but which grow out of an intimate relationship with Him, in which we seek to constantly abide.
The only way we can become abundantly fruitful is to understand the Lord's fruit-bearing process. As we lay down self-effort, our natural human independence, and seek communion with Him, abiding in the Vine, then His power, His will, and His desires will be realized in our lives, which then, will bear fruit that remains throughout eternity!
by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.