Branches, Vines and Grapes

Jordan Rose was unpacking her lunch box the other day and showed me the empty branch from the grapes she had eaten that day.  She said, “It’s gotten all dried out because the grapes are gone.”

Was she right?  Is that why the branch was dried out?  Of course her logic was faulty, but I know I’ve made the same assumption.  When I’m not being productive, my life feels “dried out”.  But my logic is backwards.  My life isn’t dried out because of my lack of productivity, it’s dried out because I’m no longer connected to the Vine.  Jesus said it this way:

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NLT)

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Galatia, said it this way:

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

Dr Bill and Anabel Gillham built a whole ministry in response to that one statement.  Here’s what they had to say about “dried up lives”:

“The Christian life is not difficult to live; it is impossible. Jesus Christ is the only one who has ever really lived the Christian life.  He is the only one who can live it today, and that is exactly what He wants to do – through you.”

When Jesus walked the earth 2000 years ago, was He expecting us to “try harder” to make this life work?  Does a grapevine have to try really, really hard to produce grapes?

Let’s look at the words of Jesus in Luke 11:1-13.  He packs so much into those 13 verses.  First, he teaches the Lord’s Prayer (“Our Father, Who art in Heaven…” you know that one).  Then he teaches us to be shamelessly persistent in asking for what we need:

“Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.”  Luke 11:5-8 (NLT)

Then he continues with the following:

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Luke 11:9-10 (NLT)

And if you’re someone who doesn’t know if Jesus is real, if God is real, I believe those words were spoken especially for you.  Ask for what you need and keep on asking.  Be shamelessly persistent.  Ask Him if He’s real.  Ask Him to show you evidence that, not only did He come to this planet 2000 years ago, but that He is alive today.  Ask Him to show you how much He loves you.  Ask Him to show you what it means to be a branch connected to the Vine.  Ask Him to show you the fruit He wants to produce in your life.  Ask Him to overwhelm you with His presence.  He will.

Not sure how?  Here’s how Plumb asked:

“I can’t do this by myself
I can’t do this,
I can’t do this,
Oh God I need Your help”

-Plumb “I Can’t Do This”

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2 thoughts on “Branches, Vines and Grapes

  1. Thank you Beth! I was just thinking about you last week, it is good to hear from you!

    ________________________________

    Billie Sue Moore
    Sales Representative
    Ellett Brothers
    800.845.3711 ext. 2422
    BillieSueMoore@Ellett.com

    We appreciate your business!

    Please join us for our virtual Marine Show beginning October 1, 2015

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