You don’t have to experience the heart break of a broken relationship to know loneliness, pain and suffering. Busy schedules may hide your grief momentarily, but idle time will eventually reveal the hole in your heart. Reflection often stokes emotions held in check until now. Over the holidays some will come to the conclusion without you I’m a disaster.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful,” John 15:1-2.
My Darkest Days sings about this reality in their song Without You. While most people will think of this in a context of a man and woman, this also applies spiritually. Biblical scholars and theologians reference John 15:1-8 as the answer to this connection. Jesus uses an illustration of a gardener watering his vineyard. Jesus is symbolic of the vine, human beings are the branches and the Holy Spirit nurtures and oversees life. Unfortunately, many individuals attempt to live without remaining connected to the vine, Jesus. This decision usually results in disaster.
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,” John 15:4-5.
One of the ways Christians neglect Jesus’ instructions is by trying to go through life without any regular time attending church, praying or reading the Bible. While you may not recognize the difference, each day without interaction with God breeds selfish tendencies. If this pattern continues, you will likely reach a point where you think you don’t need God. Sure, in times of desperation Jesus will be like crutches until you can walk again on your own. As someone who went down this path in college, your mind becomes transformed by the world, believing in lies whispered to you by the Devil. Justification and rationalization become a new religion. As 2018 approaches, I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to help you see without accepting Jesus into your heart, Romans 10:9-10, life is a disaster waiting to happen.
by Jay Mankus