“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me” (John 15:5).
“I don’t know what God wants me to do.”
Simple. He is the vine, and you are a branch. He wants you to be a branch. So, be one.
“But I’m just a weak person. I don’t have anything to offer Him.”
That’s good. Branches are weak, too. They need the vine to live, not the other way around. A branch needs the vine to do anything worthwhile, just like you can do nothing worthwhile without Jesus. So let Him be the vine, and you be the branch.
“But I’m a nobody. I’m a nothing.”
Whatever else you are, you’re nothing less than a branch. And you’re just as much of a branch as Peter, Paul, or your pastor. You can be a vessel for the life of the vine as much as anyone. And your purpose is the same as theirs, to bear fruit.
“But I can’t preach a sermon.”
You don’t have to. Just be a branch.
“And I don’t want to be a missionary.”
Every single one of us is a missionary to our friends and family. But what matters is that you be a branch.
“Will I have to go to Bible college? I can’t afford to go back to school.”
You don’t need to go to Bible college, and you don’t need money. The only thing a branch needs is the vine. The Lord is perfectly sufficient to be your supply in bearing whatever fruit He wants to produce in and through you.
“How hard do I have to work?”
We’re always tempted to think we have to bear fruit by our own efforts. But a branch cannot bear fruit on its own no matter how hard it struggles. Jesus said we are to remain in Him or abide in Him, and then “much fruit” will follow.
“What does abiding mean?”
It literally means to stay in a place and remain there. When you believed, you became united to Christ, and His life became your life. Now, abide in Him.
“How do I abide as a branch?”
When Jesus commands you to abide, He’s talking about the choices you make to occupy yourself with Him. You abide in Him by allowing His words to remain in your thoughts, and you learn to rely upon Him in faith for everything. Jesus saved you by His death, but He continues to save you by His life lived through you. Depend upon the life of the vine in faith, and then you will bear fruit.
Send your questions or comments to Shawn.