16th July 2019

I Am The Vine

“I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser…I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
John 15:1, 5 (NKJV)

To us today this is a simple truth. We must be planted firmly in Jesus to bear the fruit He requires of us. Often we may not feel like we are bearing much fruit but only God knows how fruitful we are. The simple point that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches is a powerful lesson. Any gardener will tell you a branch cut off from the tree simply dies.

To the disciples that night, just a few hours before He was crucified, it was a powerful reminder that they too needed to be founded on and linked to Jesus.

To His educated Jewish audience, especially the Priests and Pharisees, it was an insult! They knew the Old Testament references to Israel as God’s vine such as those in Psalm 80:8, Isaiah 5:1-7 and; Ezekiel 15. In this statement Jesus was saying that in terms of what it was called to do, Israel was an unfruitful vine. In the Old testament God had chosen Israel to be his nation and demonstrate the benefits of His way of life, but they had failed miserably.

Christians today, and down through the past of roughly 2000 years, now have this simple instruction: Follow Christ, serve Christ, focus on Christ and we allow his life to flow in us and through us. That is what will make us fruitful and productive servants. Once again Jesus is establishing his identity as God, as the source and foundation of real life. Being a Christian is not always easy, because as verse 2 tells us, if we bear fruit we can be pruned to produce more fruit! But whatever trials we face today, faithfully following Jesus guarantees success. Philippians 1.6 says “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Prayer
Loving, Gracious Father, help us to remain close to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, in every area of our life, that we may bear fruit for you. Whatever talents, abilities and skills you have given us, help us to develop them and use them to your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by Keith Hartrick
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About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

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