Monday, July 14, 2014
Jesus is the vine
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." ~ John 15:1-11 (NASB)
Jesus is the vine. Abiding in Him, staying rooted to Him, allows us to partake of His nourishment, His roots; through His stems we are fed, watered and grow. So long as we remain grafted into His branches and do not separate ourselves from Him, we are fulfilled and alive; we prosper in Him.
Should we become detached, by choice or circumstance, we are, for that time, no longer fed, no longer nourished and lack the capacity for growth. Only as his "branch" are we able to grow real fruit. Sin separates us from His nourishment; repentance restores.
What is this fruit? Fruit is fulfilling His purposes, glorifying him, reaching to bring others to Him, participating in growing His kingdom.
How do we remain attached? Spending time in His Word, prayer, meditation and action feed our roots.
"Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was." ~ James 1:21-24
This is real growth, real fruit.
"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." ~ Matthew 28:18-20