Jesus taught that if we want to demonstrate evidence of our faith in Jesus to the world – evidence of our relationship with God – we need to stick to Jesus. Like glue. Going our own way won’t do it. The only way to bear God-relationship-fruit is through Jesus…
5 “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. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
When we stay connected to the vine of Jesus, there are a few positive consequences.
First of all, Jesus remains in us when we remain in him. The old King James Bible your Grandma has says abide rather than remain. I like abide because it means to follow or stick to something. We need to stick to Jesus. When we stick to him, we will feel his presence in our lives ans he will produce fruit through us.
Apart from Jesus, he says we can do nothing. Nothing. Now, obviously we can do something… in fact, lots of things. Jesus, though, is talking about fruit. We bear much fruit when we are connected to him. Fruit is an analogous term which refers to the evidence of our relationship with God.
In other words, we will bear evidence of our relationship with God when we stick to Jesus. When we do not stick to him, we will bear no evidence of that relationship. Apart from Jesus, we cannot bear God-relationship-fruit.
When bear much fruit, we show we are Jesus’ disciples – his followers. And that’s what I want to show. I don’t want to show anyone that I am super-holy or righteous or better than others – I want to show that I am a Jesus follower. I want to show that he is worth following.
Jesus makes a promise that when we are sticking to him, and his words are held within us, we can ask him for anything and he will grant it. This is not a carte blanche. This is when you have the Jesus-mind and the Jesus-purpose, you will have the Father’s will on your heart and will ask for things in keeping with the Father’s will. That’s like Jesus when he was on the earth. We connect to the Father through Jesus, who is connected with the Father.
Now, if we don’t stick to Jesus, we become like sticks which wither and get thrown on the burn pile. I don’t think that means there is no chance for us. There is always a chance to turn back toward Jesus. Yet in terms of bearing God-relationship-fruit, we are dead wood for that time.
My goal? Stick to Jesus.