Thursday, November 09, 2006



When Jesus spent His last few hours with His disciples, He gave them some of the most important principles ever given. One of the visuals Jesus used to describe His relationship with His disciples is a vine and a branch. Jesus posed Himself as the vine and His disciples as branches that are so connected to the vine that they draw their very life from this relationship. The purpose of this relationship is to bear fruit. Check out Jesus’ words: Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Jesus gives one command here—to remain in Him as a branch remains in a vine. To remain in Jesus is to abide in Him. This might sound like a passive thing to do, but abiding in Jesus is a very active work. It is work to keep your focus on this relationship.

But what is this work? Jesus had an encounter that might clarify this a bit: Jesus answered, "Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."

Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

So what is the primary work that God wants man to do? TO BELIEVE JESUS. TO TRUST JESUS! To trust Jesus is to follow the teachings and principles of Jesus—to follow Him. This is work. Have you ever tried it? This is why I instruct people to share with others: “I am doing the toughest thing I’ve ever tried to do. I’m trying to follow the teachings and principles of Jesus.” Believe me, this is the greatest work you will ever do in your life!