After recently changing cable TV service providers, my family struggled to figure out how to view our favorite content. We tried following the same steps we’d utilized with our previous company, but to no avail. Eventually it became clear that a certain connection had to be made in order to gain access to the new provider’s programming archives. The service wasn’t functional without this connection, but once it was in place we were able to unlock its full potential.

Similarly, believers in Jesus are unable to thrive without a deep connection to Him. When Christ described Himself as a vine and His followers as branches, He was illustrating how absolutely dependent we are on Him. “Remain in me, and I will remain in you,” He said. “For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me” (John 15:4). We won’t become everything God intended unless we’re connected to Him. In fact, without an abiding connection to Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15:5). But by remaining in and connected to Him, we’ll be able to produce much fruit and bring honor to our heavenly Father (John 15:8).

According to Jesus, the way to remain in His love is to obey His commands by His power (John 15:10). And Jesus’ most important command is love—to love each other in the same way He has loved us (John 15:12). By loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, the entire law and all the demands of the prophets are fulfilled (Matthew 22:37-40).

As we obey God and walk in His love, we enjoy a deep, abiding connection with Him and His Spirit empowers a life that produces living fruit.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Colossians 3:1-17