I Am The Vine. You Are The Branches
Apart From Me, You Can Do
One of the great things about knowing the Son of God, Jesus or experiencing The Son of God, is the power that comes upon a Christ-Follower’s life when we actually are IN Him and HE IS in us. This is quite a relationship. Jesus describes this relationship in many ways, and this includes an interesting discussion He has with us in John 15.
He actually shares with us the identity we have by telling us who HE is and who we are. He says, “I AM.” Now that is a biblically accurate name for God, but HE says more. “I AM THE Vine.” It’s interesting that HE does not say I AM “A” Vine. HE is clear that HE is authentically “THE” vine. There may be all kinds of other creatures out there that are called vines, but it’s clear that the Son of God is making an authoritative point. I don’t think that Jesus views Himself as a mere anything. It’s clear to me Jesus sees Himself as THE REAL vine. Which gives all other vinely creatures, in God’s economy of things, secondary status.
The great news for us is that we are IN THE vine, because after telling us who He is, He tells us “You are the branches.” Then He says, “Apart from me you can do NO-Thing.” Notice what I did with the word “nothing.” So, our decision to be in the vine, or not yield to the vine, set’s us up for doing nothing or being more than we could have ever imagined. We are just like grapes in a vineyard or grapes in a vine. Listen to the rest of the story.
Jesus tells you and me, if we abide in Him, just like a branch abides in a vine, we will bear much fruit. He also tells us if we detach ourselves (intentionally or unintentionally try to live independently of God each day) we will be just like a detached branch that falls off, certainly does NOT bear fruit and is burned up in the fire. OUCH! This is so important to know. All too many Christians — especially in this age of technology– abide or spend our time involved in anything but THE vine. I need only go to a restaurant and watch a family dining together to see who is abiding with what or whom. I only need to look at a person driving a car – as they illegally text and put others and themselves at risk – to see who really is connected. As a matter of fact, many of us talk a whole lot about connecting, but rarely intentionally connect with God. Such people tend to not be very fruitful. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, integrity and self control (God’s Character and or fruit of His Holy Spirit) seem to evade their lives. Such people have an anemic spiritual journey.
However, Jesus is telling us this story how to empower us to be powder filled or fruitful. Listen again, from another angle, to what He says, “IF you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you WILL bear MUCH fruit, and your fruit WILL remain.” Now this is powerful and life transformational. The way to be fruit filled is to be filled with Jesus through His Holy Spirit flowing through. It involves us intentionally surrendering to and relating to Jesus daily. We do this just as a branch allows the life giving sustenance to flow from the vine into the branch. As we spend time with the Lord, miraculous things can powerfully occur in you and me. Our lives can develop, among other things, the very Character of God! As we intentionally yield and abide, we will be set up to produce MUCH fruit. We will be changed to produce love, joy, peace, even temperedness, gentleness, goodness, kindness, integrity and self control. It is a “God thing honey!
So let us “Let go of being in control, and let God.” Let us practice those spiritual practices where all to Jesus we surrender all to Jesus we freely give. Let us surrender as we daily present our bodies as living sacrifices who are seeking the Lord to “Have thine own way Lord. Have thine own way.” Since life comes from the Son of God who is ONE with The Father and The Holy Spirit, let us continually seek God and His Kingdom first, and let us admit to the one who came for us to “have life and have it to the full” That we really believe that apart from HIM we can do NO-thing. But let us also celebrate, that we can do “ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens us.”