Friday, May 12, 2017

I am the Vine, you are the Branches

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

This is the second time the Lord has declared “I am the Vine.” Why would He need to repeat this statement? The Lord Jesus would have us to understand that the only way to obey the command to “abide in Me” is to have our eyes and heart fixed upon Him! He is the true Vine and has such He bears, strengthens and supplies each branch with everything it needs to thrive for Him. How soon we forget that Christ is the Vine of God’s planting and we are a branch of God’s grafting. We simply stand before God in Christ, without Him supplying the grace upon grace we need we will be able to accomplish nothing for the glory of God!

The Lord Jesus sought to re-emphasize this truth to us by repeating it because He knew that we are so prone to rely on our own strength! But just as a branch does not bear fruit through its own self-effort, neither can we! A branch draws life from the vine and so must we for “without Me you can do nothing.”

The apostle Paul learned this truth as the very secret to confidence and contentment in the Christian life. In Philippians 4:13 he could declare, “I can do all thing through Christ who strengthens me.” In spite of poverty or prosperity Paul realized that the strength was not in him-self, but it was the power of Christ within him that gave him spiritual contentment and confidence! Knowing this truth and acting on it helps us to be ready for anything through the strength of the One who lives within us! We will be able to do everything God asks of us through His power and not ours! 

We need a fresh realization that we are only a branch! The character of a branch is, its strength, and the fruit it bears depend entirely upon the Vine. Our life, our fruitfulness depends completely on what and who the Lord Jesus is! His is our source and strength. As we abide in Him we will be healthy “branches” who will able to bear, not only fruit, but much fruit!

Tim Hadley Sr.

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