Change and decay in all around I see
O Thou who changest not, abide with me
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (Jn. 15:4)
Though some branches may appear to be connected to the vine at the beginning of the season, it becomes apparent that they have closed off from the vine, no longer receiving sustenance and nourishment from it. They become dry and unfruitful. In the same way, it is impossible for anyone who does not abide in Christ to bear the fruit of the spirit. Though some start out connected to Christ, they dry up when the storms of life come. In due season, the fruit of the vine is crushed, squeezed underfoot, and pressed through a sieve separating the juice from the fiber. Only then does it become what it was made to be. In all seasons of life, there will be times of discouragement when it appears that turning one’s affections to their own desires, disconnecting from the Lord, would prove most beneficial to them. In these seasons, the poorly rooted Christian turns to himself and the world for nourishment, disregarding his need for the life-giving blood and water that flow from Jesus.
The dried-up branches fall from the tree and are taken away. Such branches are of no use to the tree for they no longer receive sustenance from it. They must be removed so they do not take up nourishment from the growing, healthy branches. The same is true when we are not genuinely connected with Christ. We, too, will wither away, led astray by the loud enticements of the world, putting aside our former desire for Jesus as we embark on a rocky road, following our own passions and desires. We may flourish for a season in work and in life, but the time will come when our devotion, our reputation, our hopes, and our comforts will wither for we are now bearing the fruit of the flesh, including adultery, uncleanness, idolatry, hatred, contentions, drunkenness, and selfish ambitions.
When you abide in Jesus, you bear the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, kindness, and self-control. Are you thirsting for Jesus? Does your life bear any signs of withering and drying up? Are you being crushed, squeezed, or pressed? Today is your day to make it your heart’s desire to allow God to crush you so that your life can produce good fruit for His purpose. Change and decay in all around I see. O Thou who changest not, abide with me.