A few years back, I went with a friend and her kids to pick blueberries locally. It was my first time and I was so excited for the kids to experience harvesting our own fruit. We went a little early in the season which meant that not all the blueberries were ripe. That made our job a little harder because we had to search among all of the greenish fruit for the ones that were perfectly ripe! We collected quite a few and had plenty to eat at home for a long time!
When I think about that memory, I can’t help but think of the fruit that comes from our lives as Christians.
John 15:8 says, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” The fruit of kindness, love, patience, etc….is the evidence to others that we are followers of Christ.
If we’re not careful, though, we can easily convince ourselves that we can bear that fruit by our own good lives or hard work. We are tempted to forget that the outworking of our faith is just that – a product of our dependence on our Savior.
Notice what Jesus says just a few verses earlier…..
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
I think it’s so interesting that He doesn’t say, “Abide in me and the quality of your fruit will increase.” Or “Abide in me and you will produce fruit more quickly.” Instead we are reminded that apart from Him we CANNOT bear ANY fruit! None!
The good works that we do apart from His power and enablement will be empty and unripe – good for nothing. It is only by abiding in the vine of the gospel that we can ever live a life characterized by the Fruit of the Spirit.
In other words, our Christian homes don’t need more doing, but more abiding in the One who has already done it all! Are you planted in the good news of Jesus’ accomplishment today?