New Wine - Day 18

The Vineyard

John 15:5 “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.

This remaining will produce much fruit in you. The next statement is important; “apart from me you can do nothing.”

What does this mean? Is it true that we can do nothing of significance without Christ? That may be a strong statement, too strong. But it does mean that when we speak of spiritual things, our efficacy is greatly grown by our vital connection to the vine. We will fall short and wear out without the vine, and our fruit will be less viable. 

So we stick close to the vine. This is called an unbound set. A good example of this is the illustration of fences when it comes to how cattle are kept together in Australia. You have heard this illustration before, so I won’t linger. However, since the “stations” (read: cattle ranches) in Australia are made up of millions on hectares, fences are not an efficient way to keep cattle together. So rather than fences, they drop wells. The cattle know they need to stay close to the wells in order to survive. This manages where they go better than fences ever could. 

When we realize that we can stay close to our sustenance, which is the vine, we want to remain, to abide, more each day. We want to stay close as we know we can grow toward Christ, rather than away from Christ. This is important for our spiritual growth as well as for our sustainability and our ability to continue in the way that Chist has for us. 

I was thinking about this illustration and I thought I would use it here. I have 2 dogs at home. Vespa, who tries to get away any time she can. She is a sight hound, and she loves to run, to find new people, and to try and get as far away from the house as possible. Bo, our other dog, has no interest in leaving. We got Bo as a rescue from the streets in Korea, and she knows what it is like to live on her own, to forage for food, and to be hungry. Vespa came home with us when she was 10 weeks old and has never known hunger or any hardship. Bo is a good example of someone with experience staying close to the souce of life, for her. Vespa represents our usual wayward behavior that doesn’t want to remain, but wants to forge her own way. They are both sweet and loving Dogs, but one you have to keep your eye on a little bit more, for her own good.

  1. Will you remain today? 
  2. Are you more like Bo or like Vespa? 
  3. How can you make sure you set up an environment that helps you remain without making hard decisions every day! 
  4. Do you have a dog that helps you relate to this illustration? 

By Pastor Timothy Gillespie

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