Words from the Heart for Tuesday October 2nd, 2018
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)
Remaining in Him
Jesus taught His disciples with many illustrations from nature so they could understand spiritual truth. Here He speaks as a master-gardener who is very successful with his vines. They produce much fruit. He is the skilled gardener because He is Creator of all that grows upon the earth. We can trust Him to tend our lives. He wants us to be fruitful. We can do nothing separated from Him.
One of the greatest corporate failures in Canadian history was Target Stores. Target Canada Co. was the Canadian subsidiary of the Target Corporation, the second-largest discount retailer in the United States. The subsidiary was formed with the acquisition of Zellers locations from the Hudson’s Bay Company in January 2011. Target Canada was ultimately unsuccessful because of an overly-aggressive expansion initiative, and higher prices and a limited selection of products compared to Target stores in the United States. Target Canada filed for bankruptcy in January 2015, and closed all of its stores by April 12, 2015.
I lived in Florida for a number of years, as part of the start-up of a new congregation. We built a new building and had to clear a patch of thick Florida woods. The most challenging part was the vines. They were long and thick and the wood was as hard as iron. Vines are amazing things, with roots that go deep, to pull up the nutrition that they need to flourish. Jesus uses the analogy of the vine to describe Himself. In John 15:5 we read “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.” The picture here is of grape vines, which pull the nutrition from the ground where it flows into the branches to produce the fruit. It is a powerful spiritual object lesson. We are the branches, producing spiritual fruit. As we remain in the vine, the Lord Jesus, and He remains in us, the power of the Holy Spirit will flow through Him into us. How has remaining in Him produced fruit in your life recently.
These have been words from the heart.