Grafting branchesFor thousands of years, farmers have created new fruit trees using grafting methods. The fact that a limb from another tree can be grafted into the host tree is an amazing process. Once the branch is properly grafted on the root stock or tree, it will begin to receive nourishment from the host, so that it becomes a permanent part of the host and can bear fruit.

Of course, the branch by itself can do nothing. For a branch to survive, much less produce fruit, it must be grafted into a living, thriving host. Otherwise it will simply dry up, wither, and die.

In John 15, Jesus used this very metaphor to describe our relationship with Him. He explained, “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.” (John 15:5)

Our source of true energy and strength comes from Christ. When we abide in Him, we have life! It is only in Him that we can be fruitful in our lives. Just as a branch is dependent on the vine for its nourishment, so we are dependent on Jesus.

And when we are fruitful, we bring glory to the Father. “This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.” (John 15:8)

I believe that abiding or remaining in Jesus (like a branch on the Vine) is synonymous with what Paul describes in Galatians 5 as “walking by the Spirit;” being “led by the Spirit;” “living by the Spirit;” and “keeping in step with the Spirit.” But what does this look like?

Have you ever noticed that the more you hang around someone, the more you become like them? In everyday terms, we abide in Christ or walk in the Spirit by hanging out with Him. We spend lots of time with Him. We take Him with us wherever we go. We talk with Him throughout the day and we spend time reading His Word to know Him better.

Walking in the Spirit and abiding in Christ is a faith-walk. It’s not something we do mechanically. I love the branch-on-the-vine metaphor because it so beautifully describes our relationship with Christ. Think about it, not only are we dependent on His nourishment, but we also inherit His DNA (Galatians 5:22–23). Also, because we are attached to Him, when we experience storms, He experiences them right there with us!

Drink deeply from Him. Depend on Him. Lean into Him. Take on His character. Rely on Him for life and fruitfulness in your life. Obey Him and trust Him. Bear His fruit.

Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:16–26

Personal Application

  • In what situations have you felt the closest to the Lord and most used by Him? What brought such situations on?
  • How can you make abiding in Christ and walking in His Spirit a daily occurrence?

Jim Grassi image and signature  Jim Grassi, D. Min.

We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5