I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NASB
So Jesus and I started from scratch together (See Stone #8: No More “He Loves Me…He Loves Me Not).
Many years have passed. The Lord has had me on a journey into freedom and joy in him. It has definitely not been all smooth sailing, but in those early days He used a little book, Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray, to transform my Christian walk. (To read some background and some significant quotes, click here A Spiritual Father: Abide in Christ in Faith-filled Surrender)
I read that little volume over and over again until I began to really get it. That’s when I adopted the motto “I’m just a branch.” I came to realize that the life of the Risen, indwelling Christ, the VINE, flows in and through me, His branch.
I’m just a branch, that’s all I ever have to be!
What a revelation. I had wrongly thought that because I am “in Christ,” I was supposed to be strong enough and perfect enough and spiritual enough to do the Christian Life perfectly. But oh how freeing to find out I had been so wrong. Andrew Murray’s little book gave me a “definition” of faith that I could actually live by:
Faith is "...confessed helplessness casting itself on God and His promises..."
So I am just a needy, helpless branch, but a truly beloved one. My only “job” is to rest in the all-sufficient, LIFE-filled VINE with Whom I am already united.
HE is the One Who produces fruit to the honor and glory of His Father (the Vinedresser). And I have the privilege of bearing that fruit as I depend upon Him in restful surrender.
I’m so thankful for God’s gracious working in my life. As in a vineyard, my Father prunes me continually, correcting so many other erroneous beliefs. He brings forth fruit … first “green” and eventually fully ripe. And then of course the cycle continues.
I wouldn’t want to live any other way than from my union with him!
I will share a few more “remembering stones” soon. They are the significant truths that my Father, through His Spirit, has been working into my life in recent years.
I praise him that HE continues to grow me up in his Son. He’s doing the same for you too, O child of God, O branch in the True Vine. Amen.
If you would like to explore the entire series of past blog posts on living as a branch in the True Vine, click right here: Full Circle at the Vineyard. The entire series is listed there.
A Branch in the Vine on February 23rd, 2011
The Father’s Pruning on March 26th, 2011
The True Vine on April 2nd, 2011
Job Descriptions on April 9th, 2011
The Green-Eyed Monster and Other “Fruit-Killers” on April 14th, 2011
The Vineyard Revisited: Reflections on Growth on June 29th, 2011
Before starting your own remembering stones, be sure to read the introduction to this series:
Remembering Stones: Reflecting on a Life Being Lived. This will help you with perspective.
Also to get caught up with the series, see:
Stone #1: The Will of God
Stone #2: The Holy Spirit
Stone #3: The Holy Scriptures
Stone #4: The Gospel of Grace
Stone #5: The Sovereign God
Stone #6: The Dark Night of my Soul
Stone #7: The Smile that Destroyed my Religion
Stone #8: No More “He Loves Me…He Loves Me Not
What about you, dear reader? What are your earliest memories? Was there a significant person, place, truth that impacted you in your early years? What were your “stepping stones/remembering stones”? This doesn’t have to be set in concrete. You may likely change around your order and even delete/add as you go along. Just jot down your “now thoughts.”
And jot down even the hard things that happened in your life. You can then process them with the Lord. Watch how He takes those struggles and trials, as time goes on, and “filters” them into the truths about Himself and about your life that you can build upon.
Just start writing or journaling your thoughts — no need to write it up formally. I had started out with “Topics” and descriptions long before I started writing it up formally.
Happy reminiscing, recording, and writing!
And a shameless plug: The with-ness of our God ( Kirkus Review)