THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Connection to Christ = continued fruitfulness and usefulness.
I once saw an ivy vine clinging to a wall. It was beautiful, green, healthy, full. But further up the wall, I noticed a tendril had broken off. It had somehow gotten disconnected from the rest of the plant. It was completely brown and crispy dry. Long dead.
That tendril was a poignant picture of John 15, particularly verse 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.”
For that lone tendril, disconnection from the plant, which is nourished by the root, led to its malnourishment, then its ultimate demise. Apart from the vine, it could not sustain its own vibrancy, its own health, its own fruitfulness. Its own life.
The lesson is obvious: disconnection from Christ—if we walk away from our faith or even take an extended so-called hiatus—means spiritual malnourishment. We cannot sustain our own spiritual health and life apart from Jesus, let alone bear much, if any, fruit. Our love for others, and even God, will wither. Our joy will dissipate. Our kindness crash. Our goodness and faithfulness, our gentleness and self-control—all the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23a—will slowly dwindle. We become spiritually shriveled, with a dried-up fruitfulness, useful to no one. Useless to God.
Apart from Jesus, we cannot express love to others, or experience true joy, or practice sincere kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness, or exercise self-control. Add to these fruits, thankfulness, hope, and peace.
It is only through our continued connection to the Vine—through salvation, prayer, and regular reading of His Word—that can we grow and flourish in these fruits. Only through our continued connection to Christ, can we produce healthy, vibrant, and lasting fruit. Fit for usefulness. To God and to others.