Our scripture this morning is John 15:5-7.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

Jesus gives us a lesson on what our connection to Him is like. The vine is the source of life and the branches depend on it for their sustenance. One who is not connected “is thrown away like a branch and withers”, a stark commentary on what awaits us when we try to do life apart from God.

Without this connection, we miss the vital elements for growth and progress toward eternal life.  Jesus as the vine is the only way we can be nurtured and become a useful part of the kingdom. He warns us however “apart from me you can do nothing”.

Scripture gives us many examples of those who thought they could “do it themselves” but the ultimate result is always failure. Only by admitting our weakness and connecting to God’s love can we lead truly happy and successful lives. When we seek Him in repentance, His mercy can restore us, making us fruitful again.

Gracious God, we want to be part of what You are doing in creation. Help us to be aware of the needs of others, sharing the joy of our relationship with You everywhere. Amen.

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