Hymn 318, verses 1 and 2, “As You Journey Home”
John 15:1-8, “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. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abides in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit for without Me, ye can do nothing. If a man abides not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.”
These verses have appealed to me again because they speak of the vine and the branches. The vine is the main trunk of the plant and the branches are the little shoots off the vine. Jesus is the trunk of the vine and we, His people, are the branches. The very same sap that flows through the trunk of the vine flows through the branches, and the very same love that flows through Jesus, also flows through us. Our only hope is to abide in the vine for it’s our only hope of producing fruit. We must remain attached to the vine and be one with the true vine.
John 17:20-26 says, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. The glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me. Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy Name and will declare it that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
These verses show us the qualities found in Jesus’ life of love, joy, peace, unity, etc. There was quietness about Him, an abiding, a connection with His Father which were the identifying marks that showed outwardly from His life to those in the world. We would desire to have those same identifying qualities that Jesus had that would proclaim outward evidence to others that we are a part of the main vine. To have fruit, we must stay connected to the vine.
Nobody sees your prayer life and nobody sees mine, but God knows whether or not we abide in the vine. Abiding means to dwell, to feed, to be pruned. That pruning is so necessary for a vine to be fruitful but it does cause pain. Pruning is just a part of staying connected to the vine, for it cuts away that old dead growth that is hanging on and clings to us. Don’t ever feel sorry for those missed opportunities of our flesh flourishing, but be glad for the pruning experiences that cut away these old dead things. May we all learn better how to abide in the vine.