by Rick Warren — October 5, 2021
From Connecting With God: The Lord's Prayer
“Live in me, and I will live in you. A branch cannot produce any fruit by itself. It has to stay attached to the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit unless you live in me."
John 15:4 (GW)
Jesus says that being spiritually connected is like being attached to a vine. You’re not going to have any fruitfulness or productivity in your life if you’re out there on your own. You’ve got to stay connected to the body of Christ.
In plants, a disconnected branch can’t bear fruit. It’s the same for you. When you’re not spiritually connected, you not only start to whither and die, but you also don’t have any productivity in your life.
Every spring I grow a lot of vegetables and fruit. But if I cut off a branch, those branches don’t produce tomatoes or anything else. They’ve got to be connected in order to produce fruit.
What kind of fruit should you produce when you are connected to the body of Christ? “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be more loving. I’d like to be more joyful. I’d like to be more at peace, no matter what happens to the economy. I’d like to be more kind to people who are mean to me. I’d like to be a good person. I want to be faithful and keep my promises. I’d like to be gentle with people who are not very gentle. And I’d like to have more self-control.
That’s called the fruit of the Spirit, and it’s the evidence that you are spiritually connected. If you are not seeing yourself grow in all these things, guess what? It means you’re not spiritually connected.
God says spiritual connection is essential. In fact, you’re not going to have any fruitfulness or productivity in your life if you’re out there on your own. I’ve got to be connected to the body of Christ. You’ve got to be connected to the body of Christ. We’re simply better together.