August 1 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 57-59; Romans 4
A Divine Duet
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.
READ JOHN 15:1–11
At a children’s music recital, I watched a teacher and student seat themselves in front of a piano. Before their duet began, the teacher leaned over and whispered some last-minute instructions. As music flowed from the instrument, I noticed that the student played a simple melody while the teacher’s accompaniment added depth and richness to the song. Near the end of the piece, the teacher nodded his approval.
Our life in Jesus is much more like a duet than a solo performance. Sometimes, though, I forget that He’s “sitting next to me,” and it’s only by His power and guidance that I can “play” at all. I try to hit all the right notes on my own—to obey God in my own strength, but this usually ends up seeming fake and hollow. I try to handle problems with my limited ability, but the result is often discord with others.
My Teacher’s presence makes all the difference. When I rely on Jesus to help me, I find my life is more honoring to God. I serve joyfully, love freely, and am amazed as God blesses my relationships. It’s like Jesus told His first disciples, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Each day we play a duet with our good Teacher—it’s His grace and power that carry the melody of our spiritual lives.
By Jennifer Benson Schuldt
REFLECT & PRAY
Dear God, help me to remember that You’re with me in every moment. I welcome Your influence and instruction today. Thank You for Your nearness.
Why do you sometimes resist the help and encouragement God offers? How could reliance on Him change your outlook and your actions in certain situations?
In the Old Testament, God’s people were described as “a vine from Egypt” that God carefully planted in the fertile land of Canaan (Psalm 80:8-11). God expected His people to produce “a crop of good grapes, but [they] yielded only bad fruit” (Isaiah 5:2; see also 27:2-4). In John 15, Jesus expects us to “be even more fruitful” and “bear much fruit” so that we can glorify God (John 15:2, 8). We’re to bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and “fruit in every good work” (Colossians 1:10). When sharing the gospel, “the fruit [we] harvest is people brought to eternal life” (John 4:36 nlt). K. T. Sim