I am the vine, you are the branches. Without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5, NKJV)
I would love it if my morning coffee stayed perpetually hot. Or at least until I drank it.
It’s a fact of life (and the laws of thermodynamics tend to agree) that we generally cannot heat something enough to where it stays hot permanently. If someone could invent such a reality, he or she would undoubtedly become instantaneously wealthy—and I would be forever grateful as I sip my morning coffee without having to periodically warm it back up. But, as every morning-hot-coffee-drinker knows, heat begins dissipating upon removal from the source of heat.
In such manner, without constant and intimate contact with God, His Holy Spirit, and His Word, a Christian’s flame begins to flicker and his passion wanes. To be an effective, shining light in a dark, stormy, threatening world, he must remain near to his spiritual heat source.
Apart from Jesus, We Can Do Nothing
In John 15, Jesus plainly says we must abide (dwell, remain, persevere) in Him just as smaller grapevines must remain attached to the main vine to draw strength, nutrition, viability—and ultimately, fruit. Anything choking or restricting the spiritual supply from the Main Vine stunts our growth, dims our light, and reduces our effectiveness. The caution is clear: “Without Me, you can do nothing.” Without Him, we lose our heat.
“Abide in Me”
As Christians, we cannot remain perpetually warm apart from our Heat Source. We are called to be salt and light. We are commissioned to win the lost and make disciples. We are encouraged to pray without ceasing, to abide in Him, to set our minds on things above. Yet, in the face of our spiritual enemy, as the cares of this world choke our attachment with the Vine, and as our spiritual passion subtly erodes, we falter along the way, lose our warmth, and need to be reheated.
However, we can avoid such need for reheating by fanning the flames with daily readings in God’s Word. By turning up the heat with constant engagement with His Spirit within. By staying near the Heat Source through a continual awareness of His presence. So, lets remove all restrictions choking our spiritual vitality, pull up chairs next to His fire, and absorb His wondrous, perpetual heat.
Now, if you will excuse me, my coffee needs reheating.