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The Vine

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“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.       John 15:1,2     NKJV
Grape vines.Have you ever seen one in person?
When I was a young boy I would find them growing wild in the woods where they would attach themselves to the trees. For an adventurous young boy like me they offered a rare opportunity to grab one and swing from them like Tarzan! And even though these weren’t the type that produced grapes,they sure did produce a lot of fun!
It wasn’t until later in life that I learned that grapes came from grape vines.That’s probably about the time I realized my “Tarzan” days were over.
I see many homes around me that have grape vine trees used as decorations.I have a large one myself on the front porch and at night it’s very pretty, all lit up like it is.
So I guess what I’m saying is grape vines aren’t all that unusual after all,and there are a lot of uses for them.And if you’re using them as a food source,they require a lot of hard work. But more about that in a minute or two.
When you look at a grape vine from a biblical point of view,you begin to understand that they were very important in older cultures. They produced food,either as fresh picked grapes or dried into raisins,and of course they were used to make wine,another very important part of the culture of the day.
In the two verses I quoted above Jesus is making the statement that He is the true vine. Not a wild vine,or not a grafted vine,but the True Vine.And that’s important folks.It’s important in the sense that there can only be One True Vine.Oh,there can be off shoots and secondary vines,etc….but they all emanate from that One True Vine.
Jesus is telling us here that He is the source,or that He is that One True Vine that all others are attached to.
Then He says that the Father is the vinedresser,or the one who actually does the work that is required to keep the branches producing at maximum efficiency.Yes,grape vines require a lot of work.They must be kept pruned in order to produce the greatest yield.Old branches that no longer produce must be cut off so that new growth can take place,thus starting the cycle all over again.Even new branches must sometimes be trimmed back so that they also will produce new vines.Grape vines require constant work-it never stops.
Do you see the analogy yet? We are the branches that are in constant need of pruning and care. Left on our own without the care of the vinedresser, we will eventually wither and die,even while attached to the vine.The truth is that we all require a LOT of work!
The message here is simple: we are not our own.We cannot sustain ourselves apart from the vine and the vinedresser.Not only must we remain attached to the vine,we must also undergo a constant pruning in order to keep producing more fruit. And may I say that oftentimes,this process of pruning is not pleasant.Fact is,it can be down right painful at times.Yet is it necessary,and there is no way around it.
For you see,we are not called to the vine to simply be able to say “I belong,or I’m one of them”.  No,we are part of the vine because we are part of something much bigger than ourselves.We are part of the family of God.
Be blessed,
Ron
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Already Clean….

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You’ve heard it all before,right?

Good enough…

Follow the rules…

More works…

More faith…

Fall in line…

All of us who know Christ have been told some variation of the above.

Maybe it was when you joined your church.

Maybe it was what you were taught as a child in Sunday School or some other bible class.

At some time in your life you reached a point where you just knew that you could never be…

Good enough………….you could never…

Follow all the rules……………you just couldn’t do…

More works………………..you grew weary of trying to somehow have…

More faith…………………and you simply couldn’t bear to…

Fall in line…………..and be like everyone else.

And then you found it. A verse in the Bible where Jesus was talking about a vineyard,and suddenly it all made sense!

1 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.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.   John 15:1-4 KJV
Did you find it???
Now lets look at this again but this time through the Amplified Bible
1 I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.
You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you].
4 Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.
Do you see it? It’s right there in verse 3. Jesus said that you are already cleaned because of the word that He had given you.
The Word that…
Makes you Good enough…
Teaches you that rules won’t save you…
Increases our faith every time we read it…
Separates us to fulfill His calling upon our lives…
What freedom! What perfect liberty we enjoy in Christ!
Free from religious rules and laws.Free to follow His footsteps wherever they may lead us.
Already clean!
And all I had to do was say “YES” when He knocked upon my heart’s door. Isn’t God good?
Be blessed,
Ron