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.
In our culture, we’re trained to achieve. We to try to get good grades, high batting averages, Employee of the Month, job promotions, or MVP. We try to be the best in whatever it is that we do best. Sometimes, we even try to be the best at our faith. We read the Bible from cover to cover the most times, we memorize the most Scripture, we give the most money, we serve the most hours, we say no to the most sinful things. All these things are good. In fact, all of them are required as followers of Christ. But when achievement becomes our goal, we lose sight of the fact that, apart from Christ, we can do nothing. Without Christ, we wouldn’t be able to read, understand, or memorize the Bible. We wouldn’t have money to tithe or strength to serve. Christ is the vine and all of the nourishment we need to achieve anything comes from him. Pride causes us to think that as the branches we can cut ourselves off of the vine and still flourish. Why does Christ require that we are attached to him? Because self-sufficiency leads to pride and pride leads to glory for our sake rather than glory for the sake of God and his kingdom. Our talents and our achievements are important and worth celebrating, as long as we celebrate them in the full knowledge of dependency on Christ!
- Where in your life are you letting self-sufficiency lead to pride?
- Where is pride making you a glutton for your own glory?
- Identify one area in your life where you’ve been completely dependent on the “vine” this past year.
Memorize 1 Peter 5:6 this week.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
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