When you think about following Christ, you usually think about being like Him. I know I do. I think about if my actions and attitudes reflect His. Basically, we think about bearing fruit. Galatians 5:22,23 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” We know that Jesus was the perfect representation of someone bearing fruit. Jesus said in John 15:8 that we show ourselves to be His disciples when we bear much fruit. So now we know what the fruit is, and we know that we should bear a lot of it. Sounds good, right? Except that’s when the questions start. How exactly do I bear fruit? What do I have to do to make it grow? How do I know if I’m bearing enough fruit? Sound familiar? Yeah, I’ve been there, asking those questions. But then I noticed something. In John 15:5 Jesus says “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in them, he bears much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” It sounds like we bear fruit by abiding. The word “abide” means “to continue to be sure of, to endure, to dwell.” Jesus says in the beginning of chapter 15 that He is the vine, and His Father is the gardener. If you plant a garden at your home, you take responsibility for it. You make sure the ground you choose is appropriate. You make sure your plants are in a place to get enough sun. And you definitely make sure they get enough water. Its ridiculous to even think that you could throw some seeds just anywhere are reap a harvest. You would never blame the seeds for not growing! Seeds need to be taken care of, and the growing happens as a result of that. Jesus used this story because it represents how we grow too. We can’t grow on our own! We can only grow when we abide in Christ and let the Holy Spirit work in us. Its easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we “do” things to bear fruit, but in reality we only bear fruit by remaining in Him. Jesus tells us His yolk is easy, and that’s because He does all the work! We abide in Him by resting from our own works and depending on His. When you spend time enjoying Him, being aware of His goodness, and resting in His presence, the fruit of the Spirit will naturally develop. We become like the One we worship. So don’t worry about if you are bearing “enough” fruit. Just keep your eyes on Jesus and rest in Him. You are fully accepted and loved by God. He is a good Gardener, and He will never neglect you.