I am so excited to announce the next few weeks of studying the word with you! I read a comment the other day that got me thinking. As a writer, who loves the English language, I was delighted to find that the author of the article focused in on a specific detail in Scripture.
The premise of her article was that when we look at a characteristic of God all throughout the Bible, He is always described with “the” in front of His attribute.
He is “The Light of the World”
He is “The Living Water”
He is “The Cornerstone”
As I thought about this, I wondered just how many other “THE’s” of Christ could be found. As I started looking, I got to a place where I literally lost count!
How often do I think of an attribute of God and forget that He is “the” very thing that describes that characteristic?
It is humbling and amazing to think about all of the things He is the ultimate essence of.
Over the next 12 weeks, we will pick a “The” of Christ and look a little deeper into what it means for us as women. Whether single or married, working outside the home or in, no children, a few children, or many children God Almighty has a special message for our hearts.
He is who He claims to be.
Let’s dig in. Today we find Christ talking to the disciples in John 15. With summer coming to a close, this claim is one I personally can relate to because my yard is finishing up it’s season of bearing fruit.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (vs 1, 2)
As you probably know by now, I am a lover of gardening and nature. In my garden there are vines growing everywhere. Trumpet vine flowers, cucumber vines, zucchini vines, and my personal favorite, pumpkin vines.
The fruit is just coming on and it is beautiful to see the colors unfolding as the days of autumn approach. As I have watched the vines slowly gain strength and vigor through the summer, I was amazed at their beauty and how each one has a unique purpose.
Christ, however, unlike the vines in my garden doesn’t have to gain strength. Christ comes complete with all the strength needed to drive the abundance of fruit.
His strength produces what is needed for fruit to flourish.
Vines have some specific qualities. See if any of these sound like something God provides for you….
Vines carry all the nutrients needed to the ends of the plant. They never decide to cut themselves off from the plant on their own and leave the plant to shrivel up.
vines provide life
Vines must be strong and far reaching to hold fruit that is abundant
vines provide protection and safety
Vines withhold nothing from what it is connected to. If you are attached to the vine, you get all of what the vine gets.
vines continuously give to produce fruit
As Jesus was speaking to His disciples about vines and branches, He made a statement that is impressive and important.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 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. (vs 4, 5)
What an incredible thought to know that we are connected to “The” Vine as His children. To know that by myself, I have no strength or the ability to produce fruit.
But that with Christ I can do anything!!
I may temporarily look like I can accomplish things on my own, deal with difficult relationships, or power through a hard place. But the truth is that without “abiding in the vine”, eventually I will wither up. My fruit will be worthless and rotting and my strength will deplete into nothing.
Ultimately, without Christ, our love for others will become harder and our own spiritual health will show signs of struggle.
This week, how can you lean on Christ to be the vine in your life? Are there areas you may have decided to lean on in your own strength? Is the struggle becoming harder? Christ calls for us to remember who we are attached to.
Just as He always does, He brings with this–a promise.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (vs 11)
And who doesn’t want some joy?!! So much love to you!!