Read John 15:4-5
4 Remain in me,and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine,and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
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)
Many of us have come to a point in life when we realise that what we are called on to ‘give out’ exceeds what we are ‘taking in’. We so much want to impart wisdom,truth,kindness,understanding and energy to others. Yet we wonder if we have those very qualities ourselves.
Jesus reminds us that we can’t be fruitful unless we remain connected to him. We do this through reflecting on Scripture,through prayer and meditation,through the relationships we have with his people. We realise we are utterly dependent on him for any good we might do in others’ lives. Trying to do it out of our own resources is an exercise in futility and frustration. The well runs dry very quickly.
Those involved in active Christian ministry can sometimes feel fatigued and despondent. It may arise from the fact that the well has run dry. We are trying to give out of a poverty within. We are unable to provide nourishment for those who are looking to us for it. We are not giving too much,but too little.
The first priority for any follower of Jesus is not to love others or to get more active in his service. It is to embrace his love for us. To feed others,we need to be fed ourselves. We are to invite people to the banquet,but we need to be tasting the food for ourselves.