“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15: 4-5
While doing my weekly maintenance to my houseplants, I noticed that some of the leaves were beginning to turn brown on one of my favorite Philodendron vines. After close inspection I also noticed that though there were no sign of mites or any other pest; at the area where the vines met the soil they seem to be shriveling away. This plant was given to me as part of a dish garden many, many years ago and I had taken excellent care, or at least I thought, to this plant. So it surprised me when I took it over to the sink to spray it down with water and as I lifted the vines, the whole plant lifted up and came away from the soil as easy as lifting one’s hat from their head!
I then remembered that the week before, I had vigorously given this plant a good spraying as I lifted its heavy vines. And in so doing my “good” maintenance, I must have separated the vines from its main root! And though it still looked nice and green just sitting there on the stand, I soon found out that it was in the process of slowly dying from being separated from its root.
Some of us may look alright on the outside but are we really connected to God? Lots of churches had their little promo’s going a few years back to get folks to stay in church and get involved. Many had lapel pins and banners displayed with sayings like “Are you connected?” and “I’m Hooked”. All with the noble intention I’m sure of encouraging members to be connected to their church organization. But in the scripture above John writes about hearing Jesus speak of us being connected with Him.Now before you get into a speech about …forsaking not the assembling of ourselves together…” let me say that I believe in the Church, it was God’s idea remember? But the “church” that we see today is not what was described in the Bible’s book of Acts. Many good things have come out of these organizations and we should be committed and loyal when we give our word to be a blessing to that organization. But first and foremost we must be “connected” to Christ and Christ alone. He is the only one that can sustain us.
The church organization and its members can be a blessing to each other in times of need; to agree with you in prayer, to be by your side in times of trouble, even to bring meals over during a rough time; and I have experienced all of these selfless acts by wonderful fellow church members. But I have also seen church members that appear on the outside as if everything was just fine when they really had lost their true connection and were slowly dying and withering away; because their connection was with the organization and not God Himself.Paul wrote “…that I might know HIM…”, shouldn’t that be the cry of our hearts? He is the vine and we are just branches. He is our true source. My prayer: “Lord, I want to stay connected to You, because You are my Life source.” Amen