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I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Nothing.... Nothing? Seems rather harsh doesn't it? Perhaps there are different ways of looking at this. We might think that when we 'do things in our own strength' then all we we do is worthless, of no eternal value. But I believe we can also be very hard on ourselves. It is not necessary to be constantly worried about whether we are 'remaining in the vine' or not. Of course, Jesus is saying that we do need to dwell in him, to pray, meditate on his word and act in obedience. But he is also saying that all good things come from him. All good things we have in this life come from him. If we think that we can manage without him then we are fooling ourselves. He is the creator and sustainer of all things.