“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. ‘Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.’ ” (John 15:4–5, NLT).
The last part of John 15:5 calls for much meditation: For apart from me you can do nothing. Jesus had been speaking about bearing fruit, so we know he spoke these words in that context. He was saying in essence, apart from me you cannot bear fruit. From this scripture we have the sense that bearing spiritual fruit is an intentional and intensive process. It does not come by happenstance neither is it established in the realm of wishes.
To bear fruit, we must ABIDE in Him. How do we abide in Him? It requires a daily life of communion with Him in prayer, studying and meditating on His Word, obedience to His commandments, walking in love, and serving the saints. Psalm 1:1–3 gives us insight on how to abide in Him:
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
A major content of our prayers must be for our love to abound more and more – to be consumed by His love. When we are filled with His love, then we will walk in forgiveness, kindness, patience and everything that love brings. And then we will be filled with the fruits of righteousness.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:9–11, NIV).