Lent Reflections #4 Plugged in

The battery on my smartphone is terrible. It’s an old phone, and the latest software updates are just too much for it. Just browsing on the internet for a few minutes can send it from 100% to virtually nothing. So, I carry with me a powerbank – a portable charger – so when it gets too low I can recharge it wherever I am.

Compared to my first computer, my smartphone is an amazing pieces of technology – the world at my fingertips. But when the battery goes, the thing is utterly useless.

Spiritually, I need constant charging. I need to be permanently plugged in to God if I’m to be of any use to him. Without him, I can do nothing. Jesus said the same, but used a more earthy image:

‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NIV)

It’s a startling claim: apart from me you can do nothing. We can do nothing that lasts, nothing of great eternal importance without Jesus. Just as a twig can’t produce fruit without being connected to the main vine, and just as a dead phone can’t do anything without being charged, I can’t grow as a Christian, or bear fruit in my life, or serve the world as I should without him.

The wonderful truth, though, is that connected to Jesus – trusting our lives to him – means that we can bear fruit, we can do things for him that might otherwise seem impossible. We need to be connected to him to know his will, to grow, and to have a secure hope.

This is why the gospel is such good news. It’s not about me; it’s all about Him.

Question for reflection: Do I often rely on my own strength and ability rather than trusting in Jesus?

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