Thursday, June 18, 2015

Just BE with Jesus: the Vine

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)

Read John 15:1-17

I think the Vine is one of the most beautiful "I Am" statements. The Vine gives the branches nourishment. The Vine enables the fruit-bearing that gives the branches a purpose. The Vine gives the branches support. I like to think of the Vine encouraging me to just hang in there!

What does it mean to bear fruit, anyway? If Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches, what is fruit? In Romans, Paul speaks of longing for a "fruitful ministry," using the word "fruit" to mean converts who are growing spiritually:

Now I want you to know, brothers, that I often planned to come to you (but was prevented until now) in order that I might have a fruitful ministry among you, just as among the rest of the Gentiles. (Romans 1:13 HCSB)

Look at these other kinds of fruit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control...(Galatians 5:22-23)
...Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10)
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (Hebrews 13:5)

Look back at the prayer from the book of Jude that began this post. He is able. When we are weak, the Vine is strong. When we are helpless, He is our help. Apart from him, we can do nothing.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)

Lord Jesus, I find such peace
in trusting you to be the Vine.
You strengthen me,
you give me a purpose,
and you provide everything I need.

This blogpost is based on my book, You Are Here. I am revisiting the themes of several of my books as I seek to “just be with Jesus." I am putting aside lengthy readings for a season, and instead looking for one word or phrase to carry through the day. Today’s word, for me, is “abide."

photo credit: Napa Valley via photopin (license)

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