“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so 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, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” — John 15:4-5 (NASB)
In a few weeks, two teams will grapple on the gridiron for the right to become Super Bowl champions. The battle will be hard-fought, and the participants will lay it all on the line to receive the fruit of years worth of labor. The game will have lasting consequences for all who play in it. The victors will experience unimaginable highs while the losers will suffer the agony of defeat.
But very quickly the Super Bowl will fade into our memories, and time will march on to the next grand sporting event. The individuals who experience these highs and lows will have to figure out how to deal with what winning or losing that game means for their lives. The losing team may suffer despair at what might have been. Unfortunately, the winning team members will find that the thrill of victory will not sustain them.
At times in life, we will find ourselves in similar situations. Sure, it will probably not be on such a public stage, but we will face decisions about how we will allow a victory or defeat to affect us. In the end, all of us need to know that winning or losing a game cannot be what defines us.
To “bear fruit,” we must be defined by living in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit without life flowing to and through it from the vine, we will achieve nothing of lasting significance apart from Him. Let’s make sure that we are vitally connected to the One whose victory is never-ending.
— Mark Maenche
If you would like to submit a reader devotional, please email all submissions to email@example.com.