Sally Bair | Eternal Perspectives
Attached to the vine
The branch of our apple tree leaned so far to the side, it looked like it might snap off any day. Surprisingly, it remained and kept bearing apples year after year. Any day now, it will show new blossoms and a new crop of fruit.
In order to thrive, it must be fed by the sap that flows from its vine, its trunk. We too must receive nourishment from Christ, the True Vine. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser … Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:1, 4-5)
God chose us to bear much fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 states, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Apart from me you can do nothing.” Like an apple hanging from the branch of a tree, we too cannot bear any fruit unless we’re firmly attached. The word “abide” means to adhere to, cling tenaciously to. God would have all of us cling to him as our Savior and Lord. And when we choose to do so, he will help us keep from breaking off. The best way to abide in him is through his word, the Bible. We should read it and study it, meditate on it and memorize it. Such a discipline takes daily diligence.
Sometimes we may find it difficult to abide in Christ. We may be leaning too far from the center of the tree, Jesus, to remain upright. For instance, if we face a problem of any kind, we may become fearful and run from it. Or perhaps we start to doubt God’s promises. Or jump in headfirst and try to solve the problem ourselves, perhaps for selfish reasons. A typical excuse is to stay so busy, so distracted, that we blind ourselves to the situation that should be dealt with. Solving problems means changing things, and some of us don’t like change, even within ourselves.
Keep your mind focused on the picture of an apple clinging to its branch as a way to help you remember to cling to Christ, your life-giving vine.
Lord, thank you for being the true vine. Cause us to adhere to you so we can bear much fruit for your kingdom. We want others to see you through our love, our joy, our peace and every other part of your fruit. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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