Where I live in California, I am surrounded by vineyards. Every fall the harvest takes place, and you will see the fields alive with activity. All of the hard work of the last year is coming to fruition as the grapes are removed from the vines. It always reminds me of today’s verse. Fruit only happens when we remain in Christ.
“Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.”
The word remain means to dwell or abide. For grapes to grow, the branch has to be attached or dwell with the vine. For a Christian, the same applies. If we are going to see fruit in our lives, we have to abide or be attached to Christ. That attachment happens through the basic spiritual disciplines of prayer and reading your Bible, but it goes beyond that. We have to dwell with Christ.
Is Your Heart Fertile Ground?
So many Christians wonder why they don’t see any fruit in their lives. First, we have to ask if our heart is fertile ground. Mark 4 tells us that if it is then when the seed of God’s word is planted, we will see a 3000% return at the harvest. If we don’t see that return, then our heart is either hard, shallow or in need of weeding.
Once our heart is fertile, then we need to be connected to a constant source of sun and water. For a believer that means there is a steady source of the word and prayer. Over time we will start to see the steady growth in our life. This is the difficult part because we get impatient. The key here is the remain faithful and let God complete the work.
Remain in Christ
For a harvest to happen, we have to remain in Christ. It amazes me that people go through the difficult part of letting the Holy Spirit plow their infertile heart, plant a new work, and then right before any fruit appears they bail and are off to something else. We need to remain in Christ through the whole process. Only then will the harvest happen.