“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:5-8)
I visited a vineyard quite some time ago. I gazed upon the winding branches hanging high and low. They all looked very lush and green, and grapes hung on the vine. The fruit was sweet for all who’d eat. It’s taste was, oh, so fine.
Wandering farther down that path, in time, I chanced to see A branch, just hanging . . . withered. It turned my thoughts to me. As I lingered for a closer look, the cause became more clear. Apart, that branch hung from its vine. It made me shed a tear.
It bore no fruit, it’s life-source gone, and waited there to drop. As I commenced to move along, it seemed One begged me, “Stop! “There is a lesson here for you, my friend with saddened heart. Abide in Me, and bear much fruit. Let me help you start.” (MWA)
Spiritually, Charles Stanley says it well. “The vine is Christ. I am the branch. The Holy Spirit is the sap that runs from the vine into the branch. The branch lives, grows, and bears fruit, not by struggles and effort, but simply by abiding.”
What happens when we don’t truly abide in Him? He tells us that we become like a branch that is thrown away and withers. I don’t believe that He’s saying that we would lose our salvation, but we would be like those branches, useless to Him and withered . Have you ever felt withered? You know. . . totally drained, lacking energy, and, well. . . useless? Usually it happens when we’re not truly abiding in the vine. We may be involved in all kinds of worthwhile activities and ministries, but still, we’re withered. I’ve been there a few times and I have one thing to say about that. “We have never, or do we now, nor will we ever, produce fruit.” Much of our “withering” comes from our futile attempts to do so. To attempt this Herculean task of producing fruit is to not abide in the vine. To not abide in the vine is to be without strength and to declare yourself an open target for the enemy to attack.
How do we constantly abide? “If you remain in me and my words remain in you. . .” We must be always seeking His presence, learning His ways through the consistent study of His principles and precepts set down for us in the Bible, and making them the standard by which we live. The Bible is the vehicle by which He speaks to us. Are we listening? Are we abiding? “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (John 15:9)
I can think of no better place to be. That’s the view from here . . .