Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Verse of the Day
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…you are the branches.”
— John 15:1,5a —
Hello & Welcome —
Today we unwrap a new name for Jesus, the True Vine. Have you ever tried to plant something and it didn’t grow or prosper? I am not good at gardening or keeping house plants alive, it takes lots of patience, lots of time and tending to. The Bible uses the term vine and branches in both the New and Old Testament’s to explain the relationship of God and God’s chosen people. We know from history in the Bible that the Israelites had a hot/cold/lukewarm relationship with God. The were rebellious, impatient, and disobedient. God carefully tended His vine (the Israelites) protected them and provided for them and they still rebelled time and time again. God is a just God, He judged them harshly when needed, but gracious provided another Vine.
In sharp contrast with Israel, Jesus is the True Vine. He fulfilled all the Israel failed to do. They were wild and rebellious; Jesus was submissive and obedient. Israel yielded bad fruit and Jesus produced only good fruit. Jesus was in every way the epitome of all God called His people do. God calls us to be in relationship, in union with Him so that we may produce good fruit.
When we are left on our own, we cannot produce good fruit anymore than the Israelites could remain faithful. God, the gardener of our souls provides the needed snipping and grafting of our branches so that we become part of His family through Jesus Christ. He creates the most opportune environment for each of us to flourish.
Before Jesus’ death He had a conversation with His disciples and He shared these words with them, ““I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…you are the branches.” ~John 15:1,5a. It was but only a few hours later, they denied Him. There was and still is HOPE; for anyone who walks away and returns with a repentant heart, the Vinedresser will prune so that our outward fruit demonstrates inner transformation. We are made new through Jesus Christ.
The one thing that we get wrong so often is this: Jesus does not call us to work hard to be more fruitful; instead, He calls us to ABIDE in Him, to WAIT on Him, Fruit will naturally follow for those who remain connected to Him, because His Spirit is the one who produced the fruit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” ~Galatians 5:22-25
We belong not because of what we do but because of WHO He Is, the TRUE VINE.
We need only to abide, and He will do the rest.
Today, read John 15:1-8 and reflect on the invitation to savor a close connection to the True Vine.
➡️ Are you as close to God as He invites you to be?
➡️ Take a few moments to rest before God. Be mindful of His presence in both deep moments of worship and in your dynamic movements throughout your daily life.
➡️ Pause during the day to recognize His life resonating in and through your life, providing needed energy for you for His work even as you learn to rest in Him.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
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Heaven Father, thank you for pruning us and teaching us. Jesus, your Son; our Savior is the True Vine. Help me to stay in connection to you so that I can spread the “Good News,” of Jesus. Help me to rely on you and not to be selfish thinking I can do for myself. Thank you for send “JOY” to this broken world. In Your Holy and Precious Name, Amen!
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~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.