The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 29

"I m the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned" (John. 15:5,6)/

The world constantly bombards us with the importance of self. Bookstores are full of self-help literature. We hear or read about the self-made man. All New-Age propaganda (operating under a scientific veneer) is directed at self-development' in some shape or form! In this frenzy to derive self-satisfaction it is sad to see Christians adopt New age thinking, not realizing that they are really pursuing a spiritual experience that does not have its basis in the God we how as Jehovah. This is not to deny the fact that they have a spiritual experience - because they do! But it is an ungodly experience that they have. It has its source in 'the world, the flesh and the devil'.

There is a sharp contrast between the 'self-sufficiency' that the world advocates and the 'God-dependency' that God desires. We are to evaluate such 'self' philosophies in the light of Scripture. One of the first principles of a healthy relationship with God is that of our utter dependence on Him. Jesus himself demonstrated this dependence on God when He said to the Jews: "I do nothing on my own; but I speak just what the Father has taught me." (John 8:28). Those who are keen to be his disciples discover that dependence on God is only brought about through the gradual breakdown of their own self-sufficiency.

The lesson for us is this: through our inadequacies God shows us that w are to depend on Him. He is the source. It is this truth that helps us in times of crisis. The result of this dependence on Him (not ourselves) is greater wholesomeness and fruitfulness. But the point that we can miss is this: it is not simply hat the branches will do much better when they are attached to the vine. Unless they are attached they will wither and die!

Put another way, there are two consequences of not remaining in the vine (that is, dependent on Jesus). One is that of not bearing his fruit and the other is to do with withering and dying. We often only consider the former, whilst not giving heed to the latter. Yet the two go together. They are not to be considered separately.

You may be counted a fanatic because you lean on God. Take heart! If Jesus, as man, depended on Him in everything, then so must you and I.

To be in Jesus is to be in God. What kind of branch are you?

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues