I am the vine
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me,
and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do
nothing". John 15:5
To truly be a believer of Christ, one must truly 'abide in
Christ'. This is the bottom line. If one does not abide in Christ, then one
cannot really be considered a real child of Christ. The bottom line really
determines who is a pretender or a contender for Christ. He desires that His
disciples continue to obey His Word so that their lives will be full of joy.
Abiding in the vine is the most joyous thing. It is putting
one's complete dependence on Christ, communing with Him every ounce of the
way, and being obedient to His infinite wisdom. Fruitfulness is the inevitable
result of this -– the evidence of being a disciple of Christ. Why bear fruit?
To glorify the Father and not ourselves. We need to come to the realization that
we are only in the Father's business to please and honor Him -– nothing more.
Any motivation that goes beyond this is in direct conflict with our Father's
will, making us enemies of Christ. Every minute of the hour brings me to a
choice -– life or death, blessings or curses, contentment or contention,
abiding or colliding. I am to understand that the only option I have is to
remain a branch of the vine -– and have life!
It is only when I become completely helpless without Christ,
that I can turn and truly say 'He is my helper'. My strength is then
achieved by my state of helplessness. I will abide in Him, and in so doing
provide much fruit through my state of vulnerability. This makes me a productive
branch in the vine.
We must be careful not to convert people to our own personal
religion -– this will certainly impair the life-force of the branch. 'Without
Me ye can do nothing'...choosing life requires Christ to abide in us. By
abiding reciprocally in Christ, a lasting faith is created which will stand the
test of time. God is the beginner and finisher of our faith. By us abiding, we
become interdependently dependant on God and His design for us.
My lifeblood is in the Vine. My fruit comes from the Vine,
and as part of the branch system, I can only bear its fruit and not my own.
Bearing my own fruit will be impossible. The moment I begin to nurture the
prideful evidence of 'self', I begin to cease bearing His fruit. I
will then be cast out from the vine, will wither and be burned. The choice is
mine, life or death, abide or demise. Without Christ I can do nothing.
"My Father is the Husbandman..."
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in Me that beareth no fruit He taketh away: and every branch that
beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may being forth more fruit". John 15:1-2.
The branches are the body of Christ, Jesus is the True Vine,
and the Father is the vinedresser. It is appropriate that God chose this as an
analogy for His followers. A vine is organic, flexible and growing. It provides
the structure for branches to exist. It can only survive as it lives according
to the nature of Jesus. It is through the branches that the precious sap flows,
producing the fruit. Every other branch is dependent on the vine for life as
well, a God ordained design, where we each become servants to the rest of the
branches. If any part of this vine becomes self-entered and begins to exist only
for itself, it becomes redundant and will be taken away.
"...Every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it". Now
there's a promise that does not appear in many promise boxes. If I exist
merely to bear fruit, I will then know that I will be going through the refining
process -– pruning. Pruning allows for a more full, directed growth. The
vinedresser cuts off certain branches or parts of the branch in order that other
branches may bear good fruit. Every branch that bears fruit is purged. As the
potter shapes the clay, so the Father shapes His vessels for use. "For whom
the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son He receiveth"...".
"Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous:
nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto
them which are exercised thereby". Hebrews 12:6-11.
When we have gone through the purging process, we become
vessels unto honor, sanctified and meet for our Master's use, and prepared
unto every good work. The result of keeping God's commandments is
fruitfulness. And when a tree's usefulness as a fruit bearer comes to an end,
it will wither and die. Answer Gods calling in your life and become a fruit
bearer. Endure the purging, knowing that the trial of your faith, being much
more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be
found unto praise and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ...receiving the end
of your faith, the salvation of your souls.