Updated: Apr 4
We are going to look at who we are (or should be) in Christ over the next week or so. The Bible tells us that as followers of Christ there is fruit that begins to appear in our lives. However, before we get to the fruit we must talk about the vine.
Since we moved into our house nearly a decade ago one of the frustrations is the lack of trees in our yard. It wasn't planned that way. In fact, in our landscaping plan we had three trees in our yard. They were planted and watered. They even produced leaves, well, two of them did anyway. Those two tried to produce leaves the next summer as well, and then it became apparent that they were just barely holding on until one day while mowing the lawn- TIMBER- down the front yard tree went. It had completely rotted away from the dead roots and that was that.
The same is true of our lives. I can try. And try. And try. I may even be able to produce a good work or a loving heart once in a while (leaves), but if I am not connected to the nourishing roots eventually it will all stop.
Jesus speaks of this in John 15 as he tells his disciples of the "true vine". In verses 4-5 he says, "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."
Catch that? Jesus is the true vine. The one we must connect our lives to if we want to bear any fruit that is worth anything. As he says it's the only way we can bear any fruit AT ALL. We must "abide" in him. I chose to abide in him over 30 years ago. In that time I have realized in my life that the fruit that has been produced has only been because of him. When I strike out on my own no fruit is produced.
Therefore before we begin this look at fruit I must ask the question. Have you chosen to abide in Christ? To attach yourself to the true vine? It takes realizing that you have been trying to do this on your own and now you are choosing to abide in Christ believing that he is the one who took the punishment for your sins and now lives so that you may live your life for him.
An abiding branch,