I AM THE TRUE VINE
TEXT: JOHN 15:1-2
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
This is the seventh “I am” statement recorded in John’s Gospel. Here Jesus describes Himself as the true vine. Success can be defined as a favorable result. It can also be defined as gaining wealth or fame. How about the christian? What makes him successful? The answer lies in our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we abide in Him we will do whatever He asks. We also will bear fruit. In order to abide we must yield to God, and let Him clean us up. We must understand our role. We are merely branches through which the Holy Spirit wants to flow. The phrase “taketh away” means to lift up. A vine dresser lifts the branches up off the ground so the entire plant will receive all of its nourishment from the central vine. As humans we want to let some of our branches take root on the ground, and this detracts from the nourishment of the central vine. As a result, our loyalties become divided, and Jesus said we cannot serve two masters. We begin taking root in bank accounts, our abilities, our health etc. So the Father comes and lifts up those things out of our lives. Why do our finances go bad?Why did I lose my job? Because we were trusting in money and not God. God’s plan is that we receive all our strength and help from the true Vine; Jesus Christ. God must mold us and take things out of our lives so that we will receive all of our strength from Jesus. God prunes us and that is why confession of sins is so vital(1 John 1:9. Pruning sometimes involves cutting away the good and the better so we can enjoy the best. As we allow God to work in our lives gradually we are abiding in Him and bearing fruit. This fruit is described in Galatians 5:22-23; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Fruit is both being and doing! Some fruit is Christlike character(being), and some fruits are good works(doing). The point is that if we will remain in Christ and receive all our strength from Him we will be and do what He requires. Suddenly we are bearing more and more fruit. So how do I know if I am bearing fruit? One way is that you will have answered prayer (15:7). You will see God answer your prayers as you align your will with His will. Another sign of fruit bearing is that you will glorify God (15:8). You will sing, praise, meditate, and worship the One you are serving. Another way that you know you are bearing fruit is that your life will take on new meaning, and the fruit of your life will help others. So to be successful realize that you are merely a branch. Then yield to God and let Him mold you into the person He wants you to be. Suddenly you are a success in God’s eyes, and you are bearing fruit for His kingdom.
Lord I now realize why things have been bad in my life. I have been trusting myself and not You. I wanted to be successful from a worldly standard and not Your standard. Lord today I am merely a branch. I yield to You and now let me bear fruit for You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.