Tag Archives: jesus is the vine

Remain In Christ

I was helping my son study for his science test this week. They’re studying flowers, plants and tree systems right now. He had to know about photosynthesis, chlorophyll, and all the parts of the plant. As I’m quizzing him, I kept thinking, “Why does an 11 year old need to know this? Why do any of us need to know this?” However, I kept asking him the questions. What do roots do? They supply water and nutrients to the plant. What is the process by which plants receive pollen so they can produce fruit? Pollination. Somewhere in the questioning, I began to see us as the plants with our need for deep roots and being pollinated by other believers.

In John 15, Jesus was giving His final instructions to the disciples before He was arrested. He had just told them that He was going away to prepare a place for us. Then He promised to send the Holy Spirit. He followed that up by telling them that He is the vine, we are the branches and God is the gardener. In verse 4 He said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me” (NLT). The vine is the main channel those roots give the nutrients to and unless the branches are attached to it, they can’t receive their nutrients, produce fruit or live.

God expects you and I to remain attached to Christ. He expects fruit from our lives. We can’t allow ourselves to become detached from our source. Colossians 2:7 reminds us to let our roots grow deep in Christ. We need to get our nutrients from Him and our water from His Word. We need to be around other believers in Life Groups breaking down Scriptures so we understand them better and produce fruit in our lives. If you’re not producing fruit right now, take a look at your roots. Make sure you’re grounded in Him and feeding your soul the proper nutrients. In His final sermon before His death, Jesus wanted us to know that trouble will come, distractions will arise, but we must remain in Him no matter what.

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Integrated Into Christ

One of the things that I’ve taught for years is that habits, behaviors and attitude are all learned behaviors. You have the ability to change them with enough dedication and thought process changes. In the late 1980’s, Stephen Covey wrote a book called, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. It sold so many copies in the first 11 years that it was named the most influential book of the 20th century. It taught people principles they could change personally to move from dependence to independence, and it also taught how to become a better team player as well. Many people attribute their success in business and in life to this self help book.

Unfortunately, many people approach the Bible as a self help book. They look at it as a book of do’s and don’t’s that will make you a better Christian in order to get into Heaven. We’ve been conditioned to think that if we will just act right, say the right things and spread love then we will be good Christians. The problem with that thinking is that it’s all behavior based Christianity. Romans 7 address that. If we try to live our Christian lives based on behaviors, then we’re going to be miserable. Jesus didn’t die to make you a better person. He died to give you new life. The changes in our life are a result of our love for Him, not our will power. The root of behavior based Christianity is that we are trying to integrate Christ into our lives instead of integrating our lives into Him.

In John 15:4, Jesus said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me” (NLT). Fruit isn’t produced on your own trying to be a good Christian. Fruit is produced through the new life Jesus gives us when we are fully grafted into Him. When we surrender our lives to Him, we are letting Him integrate us as branches into Himself as the Vine. Life changing power comes from that surrender and integration. It doesn’t come through will power. You are saved by grace, through faith, not by your good behavior or works (Ephesians 2:8). It’s not your habits that make you a Christian, it’s your heart. Man looks on the outward things, but God looks at your heart. Romans 8 addresses living surrendered to Christ in contrast to trying to do things on your own in Romans 7. We each need to make sure our lives are grafted into Christ where true life and fruitful living are.

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The Importance Of Roots

Until you see a tree blown over, you typically don’t think much about its roots. Most roots go down deep into soil and provide nutrients for the tree as well as stability. The healthier the roots, the stronger the tree. Studies are starting to show that roots also secrete compounds in the soil that protect it from disease. It’s amazing what all they do, yet we mainly think about the result of their work. We enjoy the fruit that the tree produces and marvel at the changing of the leaves, but rarely consider it’s all as a result of being connected to the root.

Jesus told His disciples that He is the vine and we are the branches. What He was saying is that we should be getting our nourishment from Him, and that apart from Him, we have no life. We have to remember that we don’t support the root, but that the root supports us. It’s important to stay connected to Him through daily prayer and Bible reading. That’s how our soul is nourished and protected from disease. Like roots, we can’t really see Him, but everything we are is a result of being connected to Him.

Here are some verses about roots in the Bible.

1. Blessed [with spiritual security] is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the LORD And whose hope and confident expectation is the LORD. “For he will be [nourished] like a tree planted by the waters, That spreads out its roots by the river; And will not fear the heat when it comes; But its leaves will be green and moist. And it will not be anxious and concerned in a year of drought Nor stop bearing fruit.

JEREMIAH 17:7-8 AMP

2. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

Ephesians 3:16-17 NLT

3. Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:7 GNT

4. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.

Revelation 22:16 NASB

5. What the wicked construct finally falls into ruin, while the roots of the righteous give life, and more life.

Proverbs 12:12 MSG

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