Friday, 23 January 2015

The True Vine (5) . John 15.9-10

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

Here again we have a precious promise from Christ. “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. " If we could write this in gold on every wall and billboard across the land! We would do well to meditate upon this promise until its truth becomes part of our very DNA and saturates our soul and mind. Do you feel unloved? Here is a promise direct from the mouth of the Son 'As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you '- we are loved as much as the Father loves the Son! We are also to live in that love. To do this we have only to keep the commandments which the Son has kept and will in turn help us to keep. What is the commandment he wants us to keep? To love one another.

'The True Vine ' (4) . John 15:7-8

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

What an amazing promise here from the Lord. Not only of the possibility that his disciples may abide in him and that his words can abide in them, but because of that, because of the oneness and the change of the disciple becoming like the Master, his very desires will be in concert with the will of God and his very desires will be granted.It would seem that the desire of the branch would be much fruitfulness, which in turn would bring glory to the Father. Let us therefore, as we abide in Christ, ask that we may bear fruit to the glory of the Father.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

'The True Vine'(3) John 15.6.

'If a man abide 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.' 
Many people with a sensitive conscience, when they read this verse say to themselves, 'that is me, I don't bear any fruit, I'm therefore not abiding in Christ, I'm cast off because I'm a withered branch and will be burned.What is the point of trying to be a Christian-I might as well give up now.' But such are the lies of Satan! He ever seeks to discourage those who are children of God, however well or or poorly they are doing. Did our Lord not call him the father of lies and also in the book of Revelation he is call 'the accuser of the brethren'. The truth is that those who are reading these words and are seeking to be fruitful, are not withered branches, however weak they are. Those who are truly withered have therefore turned their back on Christ and his message and hardened their hearts against the Holy Spirit. The message of our Lord here is not to condemn, but to encourage the believer to continue abiding in Christ at all costs.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

'The True Vine' (2) John 15, verse 5

“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.''

What great truth and encouragement we have here as Christians. Christ our Saviour and Friend is in this metaphor, the vine, and we the branches that sprout from it. Here Christ does not refuse to have us near to him but in essence he says 'you are part of me, your life flows from me, my Spirit flows through you'. As the letter to the Hebrews says of Christ 

' - For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers', Hebrews 2:11. He invites us, and expects us to make our home in him, as he also expects that we will let him make his home in us. If we could only grasp this truth, many needless worries and concerns would vanish - as one hymn writer put it: 

'Take, my soul, thy full salvation; rise o’er sin, and fear, and care;
Joy to find in every station something still to do or bear:
Think what Spirit dwells within thee; what a Father’s smile is thine;
What thy Savior died to win thee, child of heaven, shouldst thou repine? ' 
Henry Lyle

The result of this abiding is certain - much fruit. Certainly it will come at harvest time and not before its time, so we need not force it, but it will come. Is the fruit ours  and our glory? For sure, without the vine the branches can produce nothing. We do have our part to play- we must abide and let no obstacles prevent the life from the vine flow into the branch - but of ourselves, without the life of the vine, we are a mere stick!