(1-17) I Am the True Vine
Christ is the vine. We are the branches. If we cut ourselves off from Christ, we cannot do any everlasting good works on our own. Our faith will wither, causing our good works (fruit) to die. When we abide in Christ, we show our dependence on Him. He is able to abide in us and is able to grant whatever we ask of Him according to His will.
Christ wants us to love others the way He loves us. How does Christ love us? His love for us is flawless, even though we are flawed. He loves us completely, even though we are incomplete. He loves us perfectly, even though we are imperfect. He loves us with certainty, without shame, without abandon, regardless of our own awkwardness, doubt, fears, and confusion. Do we love others like that?
Besides loving us, Christ also considers us His friends. Not servants or workers or followers, but friends. He has called us, chosen us, and appointed us to bear good fruit and accomplish great things on His behalf.
Favorite verse: (9) As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.