THE VINE

I am The Vine, Ye Are The Branches –John 15:5
In the previous verse Christ had just said: “Abide in me.” He had then announced
the great unalterable law of all branch-life, on earth or in Heaven: “not of itself”;
“except it abide.” In the opening words of the parable He had already spoken: “I
am the vine.” He now repeats the words. He would have us understand–note
well the lesson, simple as it appears, it is the key of the abiding life–that the only
way to obey the command, “Abide in me,” is to have eye and heart fixed upon
Himself. “Abide in me…I am the true vine.” Yea, study this holy mystery until you
see Christ as the true Vine, bearing, strengthening, supplying, inspiring all His
branches, being and doing in each branch all it needs, and the abiding will come
of itself. Yes, gaze upon Him as the true Vine, until you feel what a heavenly
Mystery it is, and are compelled to ask the Father to reveal it to you by His Holy
Spirit. He to whom God reveals the glory of the true Vine, he who sees what
Jesus is and waits to do every moment, he cannot but abide. The vision of Christ
is an irresistible attraction; it draws and holds us like a magnet. Listen ever to the
living Christ still speaking to you, and waiting to show you the meaning and
power of His Word: “I am the vine.”
How much weary labor there has been in striving to understand what abiding is,
how much fruitless effort in trying to attain it! Why was this? Because the
attention was turned to the abiding as a work we have to do, instead of the living
Christ, in whom we were to be kept abiding, who Himself was to hold and keep
us. we thought of abiding as a continual strain and effort–we forget that it means
rest from effort to one who has found the place of his abode. Do notice how
Christ said, “Abide in Me; I am the Vine that brings forth, and holds, and
strengthens, and makes fruitful the branches. Abide in Me, rest in Me, and let Me
do My work. I am the true Vine, all I am, and speak, and do is divine truth, giving
the actual reality of what is said. I am the Vine, only consent and yield thy all to
Me, I will do all in thee.”
And so it sometimes comes that souls who have never been specially occupied
with the thought of abiding, are abiding all the time, because they are occupied
with Christ. Not that the word abide is not needful; Christ used it so often,
because it is the very key to the Christian life. But He would have us understand
it in its true sense–“Come out of every other place, and every other trust and
occupation, come out of self with its reasonings and efforts, come and rest in
what I shall do. Live out of thyself; abide in Me. Know that thou art in Me; thou
needest no more; remain there in Me.”
“I am the Vine.” Christ did not keep this mystery hidden from His disciples. He
revealed it, first in words here, then in power when the Holy Spirit came down.
He will reveal it to us too, first in the thoughts and confessions and desires these
words awaken, then in power by the Spirit. Do let us wait on Him to show us all
the heavenly meaning of the mystery. Let each day, in our quiet time, in the inner
chamber with Him and His Word, our chief thought and aim be to get the heart
fixed on Him, in the assurance: all that a vine ever can do for its branches, my
Lord Jesus will do, is doing, for me. Give Him time, give Him your ear, that He
may whisper and explain the divine secret: “I am the vine.”
Above all, remember, Christ is the Vine of God’s planting, and you are a branch
of God’s grafting. Ever stand before God, in Christ; ever wait for all grace from
God, in Christ; ever yield yourself to bear the more fruit the Husbandman asks, in
Christ. And pray much for the revelation of the mystery that all the love and
power of God that rested on Christ is working in you too. “I am God’s Vine,”
Jesus says; “all I am I have from Him; all I am is for you; God will work it in you.”
I am the Vine. Blessed Lord, speak Thou that word into my soul. Then shall I
know that all Thy fullness is for me. And that I can count upon Thee to stream it
into me, and that my abiding is so easy and so sure when I forget and lose
myself in the adoring faith that the Vine holds the branch and supplies its every
need.

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