Meditations on Scripture and Christian writings to draw our hearts and deepen our roots in Christ our Bridegroom
He is the True Vine, I need only to abide
Recently, I spent a weekend with a dear friend to meditate on and pray through one of our favorite passages in the New Testament – John 15:1-16. In verse 4 of this passage, Jesus says “Abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” I love the union that is described here. What a privilege to hear Jesus Himself saying “Come and rest in me; lose yourself in me; let go of everything and cling to me.” When Christ gave us new life in Him, it was as though we were branches that were grafted into Him, the Vine. But wonderful as that may be, the even greater news is the “I in you” – that He himself now dwells in us. At that point, He does it all, we need only to remain in Him. Like the sap that comes from the vine and nourishes the branch, He Himself sustains us through His Word and His Spirit. This sustenance flows in one direction – from the vine to the branch. The branch does not and cannot nourish the vine. In his book The True Vine, Andrew Murray writes: “The believer is called to, and it is his highest blessedness to enter upon, a life of entire and unceasing dependence upon Christ… what a life would come to us if we only consented to being branches!” And why does the Vine nourish the branch? Why does the Father, the Vinedresser, care to prune us? It is but for one reason – that the branch would bear fruit, much fruit, and more fruit. The branch is not meant to fatten itself or boast of its foliage. Its purpose is to bear fruit for the owner of the vineyard; a task it can never fulfill, apart from the vine. This is a marvelous design that tells us God is not only wise but that He is also gracious. He desires our fruitfulness but not before providing the means, the Vine, Christ Himself. This is why we can believe that “his commands are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3b), and be grateful that his yoke is easy (Matt11:30a). This is why Paul said “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13). I pray for a heart that yields and rejoices in the arms of Jesus; a heart that never wants to be apart from Him. He did it all and He does it all. We need only to abide.