I Am the True Vine

My loved one had a vineyard
    on a fertile hillside.
He dug it up and cleared it of stones
    and planted it with the choicest vines.
He built a watchtower in it
    and cut out a winepress as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes,
    but it yielded only bad fruit.

The vineyard of the Lord Almighty
    is the nation of Israel,
and the people of Judah
    are the vines he delighted in.

Isaiah 5:1b-2, 7a

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.

Isaiah 53:2a

 “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 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.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love.

John 15:5, 7-9

Commentators tells us that the vineyard and vine were sacred images in Judaism. The vine represented God’s covenant with Israel. And even though God planted the vineyard, tending it, caring for it, it did not grow good grapes. In Isaiah 53:2 we read that a tender shoot was planted. John’s gospel reveals that tender shoot to be Jesus himself! He is the vine, and we – His followers, His children – are the branches.

A key concept in John 15 is abiding or remaining … a branch connected to the vine. Clearly only when water and nutrients are flowing through a vine, can branches mature and produce fruit. The same is true for us! True discipleship is not just intellectual knowledge about Jesus, but a living relationship that bears the fruit of the Spirit.

Anonymous, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

To abide in Christ means to dwell with Him! In living in union with Christ, we must be in the word, praying, living in obedience, and allowing the Spirit to produce fruit! In this sanctifying process our joy is made complete!

We find joy as we discover we can do nothing good apart from Him! And as we yield to His leadership in our lives, we find rest and peace!

“Abiding is not a tense and strained affair, but an utter dependence upon Him for every need—feeding upon Him, drawing from Him, as the branch from the vine,
all our strength and security.” 

Vance Havner

I don’t know about you, but I need Him every hour!

I need thee every hour,
most gracious Lord;
no tender voice like thine
can peace afford.

I need thee every hour,
stay thou near by;
temptations lose their power
when thou art nigh.

I need thee every hour, 
in joy or pain;
come quickly, and abide,
or life is vain.

I need thee every hour;
teach me thy will,
and thy rich promises
in me fulfill.

I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee!
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to thee.

Annie S Hawks, 1872

As you pray, thank Him that He who has begun a good work in you, will complete it. And thank Him for the privilege of abiding! Ask Him to nourish you, as a branch connected to a vine.

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