Posted by: Heather | March 8, 2010

The Heart of the Vine

John 15:4-6  Abide in me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5  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.

6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions?  You know, just living, day in and day out, and not truly experiencing life?  We all get in a rut sometimes, when life just seems to be a stationary bicycle…always pedaling, but getting nowhere.  These are the times we can begin to experience burnout and sheer exhaustion.  Our hearts become in need of a new infusion of zest and joy.

In the New Testament, Jesus used common, everyday things to communicate spiritual truths to His disciples.  It’s a way to make things that are mysterious to our human minds more understandable.  We often see references to plants and fruit in the Bible.  Since the culture was very centered on the raising of crops and animals, this was something that was easily understood by those that followed Jesus.

‘He is the vine, and we are the branches’.  We all know that the branches get their life from the vine.  If a branch is severed in any way, it begins to die, because it has been cut off from its life support.  Jesus used the olive tree to illustrate.  The Jews are the original branches, as God’s chosen people.  He always knew the Gentiles would come from the beginning, but He didn’t come to the Gentiles first.  So, we are grafted in to the tree as ‘wild olive branches’ by our belief in Christ.

When I was studying what it means to graft a plant, something caught my eye.  Plants have a vascular system.  The vascular system is a network of small tubes going through the plant that bring it water and nutrients.  It is very similar to the vascular system in the human body, which transports blood to all of our tissues and organs.   The only way for a plant to truly be grafted into another, their vascular systems must merge, so the new branch can receive its life from the original tree.

The word ‘abide’ in the above passage means that we are to live under the divine influence of Christ.   To live under His influence, there has to be a true heart change.  Our hearts merge with His, so His life penetrates our very being, and brings spiritual health to our worn down condition.

Are you running on empty today?  Check first to be sure your heart hasn’t been severed from the life giving flow of the blood of Jesus.  If anything is failing, whether your time with Him, prayer, or Bible study, make steps to reattach yourself to the true vine.  He longs to bring new life back into your heavy heart.

When an artery in the human body is blocked, great fatigue and shortness of breath are common.  When something is done to restore the blood flow, a greater sense of well-being and energy become the new norm.  The same is true in our relationship with Christ.  If we can remove any blockages in our spiritual path, our life in Him will increase.

Be blessed today!

Artwork (at top of post) by John Bell copyright 1998-2007 (www.jrbell.com) – used with permission

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