Have you ever seen a tree which simultaneously produced apples and oranges? It can’t be done, you say. Well, maybe not. But I did see a tree which had both oranges and grapefruit growing on its branches. It worked because someone was able to take a branch from a grapefruit tree and successfully graft it onto the orange tree. The grapefruit branch thrived as it received life from the orange tree.
Just as the grapefruit branch depended upon the orange tree for the sustenance of its life, so Christians draw from the life of Christ. When we were saved, we were grafted into Him. Each day we are to live through Him. Abiding in Christ is a matter of spiritual life and death — it is not our salvation, but our profitability as fruit-bearing instruments, that is at stake here — because a branch which has been cut off from the tree cannot bear fruit.
We are able to produce fruit in direct proportion to the measure of our abiding in Christ. As we daily trust and obey the Holy Spirit’s leading, He creates love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (self-control) in our lives. This fruit demonstrates to the world that we have exchanged our grave clothes for royal robes. When they ask the source of our spiritual vitality, we can tell them about Jesus.
Abiding in Christ is the key to responding in love when a co-worker unfairly blames you for his shortcomings. It will enable you to display longsuffering toward the driver who pulls out in front of you. It will give you words of gentleness to respond to an angry confrontation. And it will help you stand with steadfast faith in God, though you cannot see the end of the road you travel. When you shed your grave clothes and put on Christ’s righteousness, everyone will know that you belong to Him.
All practical power over sin and over men depends on maintaining closet communion. Those who abide in the secret place with God show themselves mighty to conquer evil, and strong to work and to war for God. — A. T. Pierson
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.