WITHOUT Me You Can Do Nothing

We have a lot of trees and plants in our yard. A couple of times a year we do major trimming and pruning. We start as early in the morning as possible and usually finish by early afternoon–with several piles of green trash ready for pick-up. Sometimes I don’t want to cut off certain branches, because they look so vibrant and healthy. But after being cut off, by the end of the day, they are completely wilted. Within a few days, they are dry and crunchy. They are no longer attached to their source of life and don’t have much use. Well, a few of the thicker ones might be good for the little fire pit on our pergola.

Have you ever found yourself busy serving God but feeling ineffective? Are you connected to Christ? Remember what He said, Without me you can do nothing!

John 15 contains some of Jesus’ last words to His disciples. It is the night of His arrest; the day before His crucifixion. So you know that the things He is telling them are things He wants them to remember when He is gone. Using the metaphor of a grape vine, He gives them the key to a fruitful life.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me,” (John 15:5). [Emphasis added.]

Like the wilted limbs left in the trash heap, when we are not connected to Christ, we are not fruitful. Jesus wants us to bear fruit! And not just a little bit.

His plan is for us to bear much fruit.

“Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit … When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father,” (John 15:5 and 8).

Remaining in Christ” is simply cultivating and maintaining your relationship with Him. Relationships thrive when people make each other a priority. With Christ, that means spending time with Him every day–reading the Bible and praying. It also means being obedient to what He teaches us. When we are doing those things, we are securely connected to Him.

The result? Fruit! Fruit can be several things,

It is the character of Christ evidenced in our lives, the fruit of the Spirit.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23).

It is also the result of our service to God and others. When we are busy serving, but not maintaining our relationship with God, we aren’t that effective in our service. Sometimes we are downright ineffective.

Sometimes I have been so completely caught up in a service activity, that I was too busy to spend time with God. I felt like I was spinning around and not accomplishing anything. The result was not something that honored Him.

When we seek God first, and then move forward in the things He wants us to do, the result will be positive. It will have lasting results. It’s so much better that way. Some things take a lot of time and physical energy. We may be exhausted when we’re finished. But we do them in God’s strength and He fills in the gaps where we are weak.

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty,” (Zechariah 4:6 NIV).

“Each time he [God] said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 ThWhat does it mean to live--without? Some people live without hope. God says live without grumbling! If we are His, He sees us without blemish. #write31daysat’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

The key is maintaining our relationship with Christ–staying connected to the vine. Remember that He said, “Without me you can do nothing!

The key to a fruitful life is staying connected to Jesus!Click To Tweet



Image: Pixabay (Gerhard Gellinger)

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16 replies

  1. I think you’ve been reading my prayer journal! I’m launching my first book on Monday and continually God has been telling me to just REST in Him. But there’s too much to do…yet He has been telling me to trust Him. This post says everything I’ve been going through these past few weeks! Love that I got to sit here today!
    Bethany Boring recently posted…#UnMaskedBook Launch Week Is Here!My Profile

  2. I love how pruning… and weeding… and planting seeds… and watching plants grow… and – well, you get the picture. I love how almost everything about this earth can point us to the truths of God.

    Thanks for writing Dianne!!
    stuckinindiana recently posted…sunrise thoughts 29 October 2015My Profile

  3. This is one of my favorite analogies for suffering and loss. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense that we have to be pruned and have parts of our lives cut away, yet sometimes that’s the only means of growth.
    Barbara H. recently posted…31 Days With Elisabeth Elliot: The Key to Supernatural PowerMy Profile

    • It works, too! On my Crepe Myrtles, wherever I prune, a bunch of new growth sprouts up … in that very place. God knows what stimulates us to move forward with Him!

  4. I think you’re right that when our focus is the service and not the God we’re serving, we can be ineffective. I heard a quote that went something like: “Don’t spend so much time on the work of the Lord that you neglect the Lord of the work.”
    Sarah recently posted…31 Jesus-Benefits: Identifying with HimMy Profile

  5. Dianne, my moniker used to be A PRUNED BRANCH and I even wrote a 365-day devotional by that name. I am the Queen of being pruned. Man, it hurts!!! But, oh, the luscious fruit that results from it!!! xo It’s been fun doing this challenge with you.
    hopeful50 recently posted…day 29: stubbornnessMy Profile

  6. I love your simple, hard message. Staying connected is something that sounds so simple but in life can become so difficult. Thanks for sharing.
    Mary Hill recently posted…Finding Hope in God’s Sea TidesMy Profile

    • Oh, Mary … It is difficult to stay connected. We get busy with family and activities … And so easily miss the Lord. Thanks for reading and commenting in my blog. Blessings to you!!

  7. Hi, am I OK to use your picture ‘without me you can do nothing’ for a powerpoint presentation at our church? I really like your quote ‘The key to a fruitful life is staying connected to Jesus’!

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