There are three ways to get something done: do it yourself, hire someone, or forbid your kids to do it. —Unknown
When Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing,” He clearly didn’t mean that we can’t do anything. Obviously, there are things we can do. We can drive a car. We can go to work. We can pay our mortgage—we can do things. What He is saying is, “If you’re going to do something of eternal significance—if you want to make a difference in people’s lives, if you want to bear real spiritual fruit that matters eternally—apart from Me, you can’t do any of that. You cannot create true fruit in the power of the flesh.”
If we choose not to remain in His love, if we choose not to abide in Him, not to allow His power to work through us, we’re just like a branch that’s not even connected. There’s no difference. Why would we even want to live that way? (Well, pride for starters, but let’s just pretend that was a rhetorical question.)
The point is this. We were designed to “remain” in Christ and in His love for us, dependent on Him to live His life through us.
This is to my Father’s glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
What happens when we bear fruit? Two things:
- We show ourselves to be disciples. The true fruit of the Spirit makes it obvious that we really are disciples—because only He can bear this kind of fruit. If it’s borne, then it’s obvious He did it through us, and we’re disciples.
- The Father gets the glory. And there is something that is just so right about that. It’s like everything falls into its proper place when people look past us and praise God from whom anything good flows.
Jesus, I know there are a whole lot of things that I can do outside of You. But I can’t do anything that’s going to matter in eternity unless I rest in You. I surrender it all to You right now. Teach me to become more and more dependent on You. Thanks!