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March 8 – I Am A Branch, Not The Vine

March 8, 2012

“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 does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.   Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.   I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.   If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” – John 15:1 (ESV)

I was not natural-born into the family of God.

God chose a people, when He looked favorably upon Abram and gave the promises to him.  His descendants were then natural-born into this favored family of God.  One who was born a Jew would receive all the blessings God promised to them by the mere fact, they were born a Jew.  Yes they needed to obey, but they received all the privileges, provision and protection from God.

There is a lot of responsibility that came with this privilege of being God’s chosen people.  They were the light to the world.  They were to be the ones who revealed the Law of God.  They would be the ones who would illuminate right from wrong.  All of this would be gained through the knowledge of the scriptures (the Law and the Prophets).

Under the New Agreement (Covenant) provided under the shadow of the Cross of Calvary, the door would be opened up to all mankind.  Even though I was not natural-born as a Jew, I had access to His family by the reconciliation that came by the cross.  I could be made a child of Abraham by faith.  I would become a child of God and enjoy all the same privileges that the Jews enjoyed.  By one event, the death of Jesus on the Cross, I could be added to God’s family, even though I am a gentile.

Jesus illustrated participation in the family of God by picturing a vine and branches.  He explains how that He is the vine, and his disciples are the branches, who draw nourishment and strength from Him.

Very clearly, Jesus tells his listeners that one cannot bear fruit by himself; that the branch had to stay in the vine.  If the branch was not producing fruit, it would be cut off and burned.

As as believer, I have been grafted into God’s family.  And I will be fruitful if I remain in Him, and are nourished and fed by Him.  The only way that can happen is if I remain a branch of the vine.  If I try to replant myself alone, or try to force a graft to a different vine, I cannot and will not receive the spiritual nourishment I so desperately need to survive this life.

More thoughts about this tomorrow, Lord willing…

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