Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Submitted by Lara Cook
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5
Last week we started a series on the seven I Am statements by Jesus.  The last I am statement of Jesus is I am the Vine and you are the Branches. 

This statement gives us such a powerful word picture of our relationship to Christ.  Jesus continues on and says, If a man remains in me and I in Him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  Imagine a vine growing and the branches that are producing the beautiful sweet fruit.  If you come along and cut off the branch, it, along with the attached fruit, will wither and die.  That is how are lives will be apart from Christ.  If we remain in Him, read our Bibles and grow in our relationship with Him and serve Him, we will produce fruit in our lives.  It we cut ourselves off from Him, we will become like a dried-up branch with shriveled up fruit.  Not a very pretty picture, is it?  Without its connection to the life-giving source of the vine, the branch will not live.  It will shrivel and dry up and will not produce any fruit.  As a branch cannot grow, thrive, and produce fruit, we cannot grow, thrive, and produce fruit apart from Jesus. 
The Purpose of Abiding
Without Jesus, we can do nothing.  Without Jesus, we do not grow or thrive.  Without Jesus, we do not produce the fruit in our lives.  All of that comes from abiding or remaining in Him.  I love the word abiding and the thought of abiding in Christ. To me that means that every part of me is wrapped up in Him, enveloped my Him.  Every breath I take, I take in Him.  Abiding is being together every second. One inside the other, literally a part of each other.  This is the connection that produces the fruit in our lives.  Sustenance and nourishment from the One True Source allows us to bear fruit and thrive.  Apart from that sustenance, nothing.  Barren, dry, parched and shriveled lives. 
Abiding in Christ is a patient expectancy; it is neither wasteful idleness nor anxious striving. The Psalmist cried out, "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him."  Psalm 62:5 When we turn our hearts toward the world’s resources, we leave our place on the vine and the strength that comes from Him.  Where we abide is where we exist.  Waiting upon the Lord is not a pursuit of our soul but the resting of our soul in Him.
And so we complete the Seven “I Am” Statements of Jesus: 
  • I am the Bread of Life.
  • I am the Light of the World.
  • I am the door for the sheep.
  • I am the good shepherd.
  • I am the resurrection and the life.
  • I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  
  • I am the vine.
What we know is that Jesus is all we need!
Scripture to Claim:
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
John 15:8

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