I’m a branch in the True Vine…just a branch…but a beloved one. I’m not THE branch, for there are many…multitudes, in fact, from every tongue and family and tribe and nation.
But I am in THE Vine. There is only One, you know, in the Father’s Vineyard. The True Vine is more than enough to supply life to all of us beloved branches. And fruit? You should see the baskets full that come when each of us branches really makes its home (“abides”) in Christ, the Father’s glorious Vine! (John 15:1-5)
I didn’t always know and experience the life of belovedness, rest, fruitfulness, and joy that are mine as a branch in the Vine. For many years as a branch, I grunted and groaned trying to produce fruit of many kinds—developing Christian character, loving the unlovely, teaching the Bible, winning the lost, encouraging other branches, etc etc. Oh, I drew upon the life of the Vine…at least I thought I did. But really there was often a mixture of His life and my (fleshly) life in it all.
Then at the end of my desperation (a branch can’t take that kind of barrenness and struggle for long), I heard my Father say to my heart, “I love you even if you never do another thing right again!” It took me two years to believe that God had really said that to me. Every time I would start to trust in the Father’s love, the enemy would come in and whisper… ”Did God really say that? That’s too good to be true!”
Finally one day, I chose to believe that God truly loved me, His branch, despite my level of fruitfulness. Nothing has been the same since. And you know what? I started seeing this very truth all over the Scriptures:
See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called children of God….and such we are! 1 John 3:1
The Father Himself loves you… John 16:27
I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
So I say again, “Welcome to the Father’s Vineyard.”
Here you will encounter many & various Scriptures, metaphors, “pictures”, stories, and lessons. But there will always be the same truth at the bottom of it all:
The Vine, our Lord Christ, is the All-Important One! We the branches are the beloved, cared for, and fruitful ones because of being connected to the Glorious Vine!
May our Father God, the Divine Husbandman (Owner-Gardener), use this series of Vine & branches entries to encourage your life in the Vine. May you sink down deep into His Life and live from your union with Him day by day. Then His life in & through you will produce much fruit as He promised.
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