Advent Flow #15 - NAME OF GOD: Vine
NAME OF GOD: Vine
by Brett Bodine
The idea of the vineyard and the vine would have been familiar to the Disciples and the Jewish people. There are several references in the Old Testament including Isaiah 5:7 which says,
“The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel,and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in…”
In the seventh and final “I AM” statement from the book of John, Jesus declares that He is the True Vine and His Father is the vinedresser. He tells us that we are the branches. The vine is the source of life for the branches. When the branches are attached to the vine they have everything they need to thrive and bear fruit. Jesus then tells us that we are to abide in Him so that we will bear fruit. The Greek word for abide is ménō meaning to continue, to dwell, to endure, to be present, to remain and to stand. Without Jesus, we can bear no fruit but when we abide in Him not only will we bear fruit but much fruit. John 15:8 says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” What exactly is this fruit?
The ultimate fruit of our abiding in Jesus is love. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love…”. John 13:34, 35 says, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Only by abiding in Jesus, our vine, can we demonstrate true agapē love for one another. Jesus tells us that there is no greater love than to lay down our lives for our friends. As branches connected to the true vine of Jesus we are connected to the source of love and have this love in us.
What makes this even more amazing is verse 16 in chapter 15 of John: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” Paul says, in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Putting this all together means that God created us to do good works, He chose us to be connected to the vine, He supplies everything we need to bear lasting fruit, He prepared the good works in advance for us to do and He promises to give us everything we ask for to accomplish those works. It’s all about Him. It has nothing to do with us. Our only responsibility is to be present, to be connected, to endure, to abide in Jesus. When we abide we will bear the fruit of love which will produce more fruit: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Are we abiding in Christ or are we distant?
If we examine our lives, do we see fruit?
What does it mean to love one another?
Do you remember the amazing things that God has done in your life and tell others about them?
Jesus, you are the True Vine. Help us to draw closer to you and abide in you that we may bear much fruit in our lives. Fill us with Holy Spirit in order to love others as you first loved us. May we find joy in our lives regardless of our circumstances knowing that you are the source of life and without you we are nothing. Prepare us for the good works you have planned for us. Thank you for choosing us. In your name we pray, Amen!