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Friday, October 18, 2019

Jesus Gives Fruit

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.
 —John 15:5 (NIV).

Jesus opened the door to all the resources of His Father when you believed by faith in Him. You received His power. But for His resources—that power—to be real to you, faith needs to be exercised. When you surrender yourself, you become a conduit of what He has given. You allow the Holy Spirit to have control. No matter how weak or how unaccomplished you feel, when you allow God to work through you, then what you do is powerful. You need to remember this during days when you feel you slide back two steps after climbing one. No day is a failure when you have surrendered it to God. His use of you is real, even when you don't feel it. 

Jesus is the vine, and you are the branch. He remains in you. He can't take away the finished work of His grace. However, you can put Jesus on the back burner and move away from the life-giving flow of His Spirit. And if you don’t remain in Him, your intimacy is shattered. Your ability to draw from His resources is gone.  BUT… if you remain in Him, the vault to His resources is never locked. It is wide open. He promises that you will bear fruit. 

The fruit is NOT yours to produce. It is His fruit produced by His life in your life. You are only the branch that carries the life of the vine to the fruit. You can't bear fruit without the Holy Spirit flowing through you. If you desire His life to empower yours, surrender self, and stay connected to His resources. If you remain in Him, the Holy Spirit won’t fail to flow through your life into the lives of others. You bear fruit only because of Him.

God never leaves you. Self, however, often gets in the way and blocks your awareness of His presence. Do you realize that when you hold onto control, you are holding on to self? That is like telling the Lord that you are the vine instead of the branch. Self—your control—can kill fruit in your life. When you feel the need to prove you are worthy, you try to get rid of feelings of unworthiness by maintaining control. 

Think of Peter telling the Lord he wasn’t worthy to have his feet washed. What appeared as humility in Peter was actually pride caused by feelings of his unworthiness. Peter was trying to hold onto the last vestige of himself by saying he wasn’t worthy, and the Lord was asking for His total surrender. In surrender, you realize that Jesus has made you worthy. You have nothing to prove. You are gracefully broken by the Holy Spirit to receive the life-giving flow of the vine.

Do you hunger to be a vessel of His love and His power?  Surrender your struggle to prove that you are worthy. Surrender self and live in the awareness that Jesus has made you righteous. His grace has made you worthy. Remain in Him as He remains in you. When self is out of the way, the Holy Spirit flows―unhindered by human limitation. If you yield to Him every day, then you remain a vessel of all that He is. The power of the Cross—His grace—flows through you so that others receive what you alone can never give―His love, His peace, His joy. Jesus gives fruit.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher

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