August 14, 2018
A Proper Connection
I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. – John 15:5
We love to grow the giant variety of pumpkins in our garden, just to see how big they will get. Tips are available on how to nurture them so that they become as large as possible. For instance, the soil needs to be rich in nutrients, there must be lots of sunshine and water, and fewer blossoms per vine yields larger pumpkins. If all goes well, we end up with a few very large pumpkins. However, there are times that a promising young fruit begins to wither and grow paler instead of becoming larger and more colorful. Looking closely, we inevitably find that it is no longer connected to the vine, and therefore is not getting nutrients. Only the fruit that remains connected to the vine actually grows to maturity.
Similarly, Christians need to be connected to the Vine (Jesus) in order to be successful. In the past few years, we have heard many catch phrases promoting the power of self: “Self-made man,” “You can do it,” and, “Just do it.” These all refer to the power of the individual. However, trying to make our own way in the spiritual realm will only bring disaster. Only by abiding in Christ will people know true victory and lasting peace.
In Jesus’ time, there were a few men and women who really figured it out. Zacchaeus, who today probably would have been considered a success in the eyes of the world, repented when Jesus spoke to him because he knew he was not living right. The woman at the well, who likely would be considered a liberated woman by present-day standards, realized that she had not known real freedom until she met Jesus. Nicodemus came to Jesus by night to learn the truth because he felt that something was lacking in his life. After they became connected to Jesus, they were able to live victoriously through His power.
The question for us today is, “Am I connected to the Vine, Christ Jesus?” He makes all the difference!