The Vital Connection
March 30, 2021
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”John 15:4-5 NLT
Back in the heyday of the Cincinnati Reds, Charlie and I lived in Cincinnati. My younger brother would come stay with us as often as we could arrange it in the summers, and we would hit the Reds’ games every time we could. They let pastors in for one dollar for the nosebleed seats, so it was cheap and great entertainment. The boys got autographs after several games, including Pete’s. We even ran into Pete in “civilian” clothes one time downtown and exchanged a few words with him. It was heady and fun, but pretty much a hit-and-run connection. No way could we ever claim we knew Pete Rose.
But that is pretty much the only foundation many people have for their claim to know Jesus. They have a hit-and-run connection. They said a prayer at one time and asked for forgiveness for their sins, then run into Him from time to time. They have a few irregular conversations. But to claim they know Him? That’s really a stretch. When you hear bitter, disappointed Christians, people who wander and express anger and frustration with Jesus, you can always trace it to the lack of a true relationship with Jesus. It’s hit and run.
The people who crucified Jesus, the many who turned away from Him in disappointment because He wasn’t what they wanted Him to be and didn’t do what they wanted Him to do—these were not the ones whoknewHim. This kind of relationship with Jesus will always lead to disappointment with Him. You don’t know God close enough to even have an idea of what His will is or what will accomplish His purposes. You don’t have the intimate relationship with Him that develops trust. So disappointment dogs your “relationship,” and you don’t understand why God seems to favor other people.
Jesus stated plainly that a few quick hit-and-run conversations, no matter how sincere in the moment, do not make a relationship. Remaining makes the relationship. Staying connecting every day, every moment, leads to true life. It defeats disappointment, it produces the fruit in your life for which you long, and no amount of effort without this intimacy will do it.
Connect and remain.
- Have you been a hit-and-run Christian? Make the deliberate choice to remain. Talk to Him about it today.