Here at A Branch in the Vine, we are proclaiming our Declaration of Dependence! We are celebrating that every day is Dependence Day for those of us who "live from the life of Another." True liberation, freedom inexpressible and full of glory, begins when we embrace the words of Jesus,
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. John 15:5 ESV
Nothing glorious can happen in and of ourselves! Only as we believe in the depths of our beings...
...the mystery [is]Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
So please join me in celebrating the thrilling dependence of our union with our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ* by faith:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 ESV
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant... 2Cor 3:5-6a ESV
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2Cor 4:7-10 ESV
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE LAMB
I have heard how Christians long ago Were brought before a tyrants throne And they were told that he would spare their lives If they would renounce the name of Christ. But one by one they chose to die The Son of God they would not deny Like a great angelic choir sings I can almost hear their voices ring.
CHORUS: I pledge allegiance to the Lamb With all my strength With all I am I will seek to honor His commands I pledge allegiance to the Lamb.
Now the years have come and the years have gone But the cause of Jesus still goes on And now our time has come to count the cost To reject this world, to embrace the cross And one by one let us live our lives For the One who died to give us life. Till the trumpet sounds on the final day Let us proudly stand and boldly say
To the Lamb of God who bore my pain Who took my place, Who wore my shame. I will seek to honor His commands I pledge allegiance to the Lamb.
*Thanks to Mike Merritt for his creative sermon from the book of Daniel entitled "Dependence Day" (July 1, 2012, Believers' Assembly)
*You might also like to explore how this truth is operative in our lives as believers: