John15-5bAbide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5A vineyard with thousands of vines and branches.  The picture in John 15 of Jesus being the vine gives hope to us.  For as the branches that receive sustenance from the vine, we grow ever more close to our Lord and Savior.  The fruit that hangs from the branches is sweet.  Luscious orbs of love, straight from Jesus.I particularly love the last phrase, and it echoes into my heart…apart from me you can do nothing.  Does this mean that the independence, the I am number 1 attitude is all wrong?  Yes.  We may achieve, but nothing is lasting unless Jesus and I do it together.  Why did it take so long to learn this?  This should be a part of every ministry, every job, every chore we have done, and will do.  I remember how much a drudgery just washing dishes became as a young mother.  Where was this verse then?  I missed His Joy when I did not know this phrase!Love one another.  Are you stuttering, “But…you don’t understand.”  Indeed, I do understand.  The Ego that rears its ugly Self-Head says, “How could they do this to ME?”  “I didn’t deserve this!”  “This really hurt.”Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.  Who said this?  The One who was beaten and scourged.  The One who was nailed on the cross and bore unbearable anguish and pain.  The One that died because He loves us.  And He asks that we love one another as I have loved you.  That is how much Jesus loves us.  He is our friend, IF.  Can we love like He did, unto death?We can – if we understand the first thought — apart from me, you can do nothing. And this is my prayer, help me to love the unloveable, my enemies, those I don’t understand.  I can if I trust Jesus.  Together we fuse together — the Vine and the branch and together we bear fruit.“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. John 15:12-14