"I am the vine, and you are the branches. If any remain in me and I remain in them, they produce much fruit. But without me they can do nothing." (NCV)
What is God saying?
God is the source of everything, so if His followers want to be spiritually successful, they must stay connected to Him.
What is God saying to us today?
When we look at the current success rate of Christianity in the western world, we have reason to be discouraged. People who do not have or care to have a relationship with God are the fastest growing segment of the population. And while we can blame it on the media, the school system, or simply the end of time, perhaps our lack of success reflects more on us than the world around us. It's easy to blame these secular boogie men as to why our churches are no longer full or our reputation as a Church is rapidly declining, but how good are we as Christians at remaining in Christ? It seems that we cannot go a week without seeing in the news some "Christian" or another using Scripture to justify unChristian behavior or misrepresenting the words of Christ to further his/her own agenda. And while most of us do not have nearly as much influence as celebrities or politicians, it is more important than ever for us to remain connected to the Vine so that we can produce the fruit that the world really needs.
What is God calling us to do?
When was the last time you felt spiritually successful? God invites us to stay intimately connected to Him so that we can have the power to make a difference in the world around us.