Read John 15:5
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (NLT)
The writer Philip Yancey tells of a conversation with a friend who was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). He asked this friend what he thought was the biggest difference between AA and the church. His friend replied in one word: ‘dependence’.
It just may be that Christians aren’t always desperate enough to realise how utterly they depend on Jesus. Our text reminds us that we can only live the life Jesus wants us to live if we remain connected to him. Such connection is nourished by the familiar disciplines of prayer, bible reflection, solitude, worship, fellowship, and service.
We perhaps have the idea that we only need Jesus when trouble strikes or when we just can’t figure something out ourselves. But this is to make Jesus some sort of emergency helper. He is there to help us be truly human in all seasons of our life. We are always dependent on him because a Christ-like life is utterly impossible without him.
We come to Jesus every day telling him how helpless we are. We may be wealthy, powerful, resourceful and healthy. But we can’t follow him in our own strength. Jesus is no added-on extra, he is essential.
Utter dependence does not make us passive. It simply recognises that discipleship is a demanding assignment. We can’t do it on our own. We do what we can but always aware that it is the power of Jesus which enables us to be the people he means us to be.
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