Intimacy with God
I love the analogy of the vine and branches in John 15. I'm an outdoors kind of guy and can readily picture what John is trying to communicate. It really is a picture of intimacy and connectedness. As a Christian leader, I want to be productive and bear fruit for the Lord. In the past, I had tended to view this passage as a call to simply be with Jesus - to spend time with him as I do in my human relationships. Yet, abiding in Jesus is more than being with him. As we read in verse 10, it requires obedience. "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love." The way to intimacy with Jesus is through obedience. As we lovingly obey him, we will draw close to him and bear much fruit.