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Fully, Completely, Utterly Dependent

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 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.5 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. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:1-11) The other day, I was talking to some young men in my office, and our discussion quickly devolved into something it was never meant to. In talking about it with the one I was speaking directly to, I realized (through the wisdom God gave him...or his roommate who brought it up) that it was almost like we were having two different discussions. While we were both having a discussion about faith, he was on one wavelength, and I was on another. Sometimes I wonder if we talk to listen, or do we talk to respond? I have a tendency toward the latter, and this is something God is working on with me. No matter how we got there, though, the end of the discussion turned to this one point: what are we dependent on for our faith? Is it our knowledge? Is it wisdom? Neither are bad things, and yet if they stand alone, they are rubbish! Wisdom and Knowledge without right relationship with Jesus mean absolutely nothing. Jesus said "abide in me." This isn't a word we use in the way it was meant when the Bible was translated from Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic (we usually mean tolerate when we say it). Biblically speaking, and in accordance to what Jesus is meaning, it means to "live with/in." In today's verse, Jesus is saying "live in me, and you will bear much fruit." The branch can't live apart from the vine. It gets its nutrients and sustenance from the vine. It depends completely on it! Yet how often do we seek our own way of following Jesus? When He said "follow me," he meant "walk in my footsteps "(see Philippians 2:5). Apart from Him we can do nothing, so why do we try so hard? I am convinced that nothing more needs to be done than this: but to fully, completely, and utterly depend on Jesus through the Holy Spirit. We can only do this by submitting everything to His hands. In this way we will be both abiding in Him, and walking in His steps. And let us, then, cling to the words of the Scribe in Ecclesiastes:"The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." (12:13)

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