Archive for January, 2013

Treasures From The Vine—Mystery Of The True Vine

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Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.

And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not

believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love,

and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on a dying world.

-Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 

I am the true vine. – John 15:1

All earthly things are the shadows of heavenly realities – the expression, in created, visible forms, of the invisible glory of God.  The life and the truth are in heaven; on earth we have figures and shadows of the heavenly truths.  When Jesus says: “I am the true vine,” He tells us that all the vines of earth are pictures and emblems of Himself.  He is the divine reality, of which they are the created expression.  They all point to Him, and preach Him, and reveal Him.  If you would know Jesus, study the vine.

How many eyes have gazed on and admired a great vine with its beautiful fruit?  Come and gaze on the heavenly Vine till your eye turns from all else to admire Him.  How many, in a sunny climate, sit and rest under the shadow of a vine?  Come and be still under the shadow of the true Vine, and rest under it from the heat of the day.  What countless numbers rejoice in the fruit of the vine!  Come, and take, and eat of the heavenly fruit of the true Vine, and let your soul say: “I sat under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste.”

I am the true vine. – This is a heavenly mystery.  The earthly vine can teach you much about this Vine of heaven.  Many interesting and beautiful points of comparison suggest themselves and help us to get conceptions of what Christ meant.  But such thoughts do not teach us to know what the heavenly Vine really is, in its cooling shade and its life-giving fruit.  The experience of this is part of the hidden mystery, which none but Jesus Himself, by His Holy Spirit, can unfold and  impart.

 

 

Treasures From The Vine—My Father Is The Husbandman

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Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.

And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not

believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love,

and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on a dying world.

-Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 

And my father is the husbandman. – John 15:1

A vine must have a husbandman to plant and watch over it, to receive and rejoice in its fruit.  Jesus says: “My Father is the husbandman.”  Jesus was “the vine of God’s planting.”  All He was and did, He owed to the Father; in all things He only sought the Father’s will and glory.  He had become man to show us what a creature ought to be to its Creator.  He took our place, and the spirit of His life before the Father was ever what He seeks to make ours:  “Of Him, and through him, and to him, are all things” (Romans 11:36).  He became the true Vine, that we might be true branches.  Both in regard to Christ and ourselves the words teach us the two lessons of absolute dependence and perfect confidence.

My Father is the husbandman. – Christ ever lived in the spirit of what He once said:  “The Son can do nothing of himself” (John 5:19).  As dependent as a vine is on a husbandman for the place where it is to grow, for its fencing in and watering and pruning, Christ felt Himself entirely dependent on the Father every day for the wisdom and the strength to do the Father’s will.  As He said in the previous chapter (John 14:10):  “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.”  This absolute dependence had as its blessed counterpart the most blessed confidence that He had nothing to fear: The Father could not disappoint Him.  With such a Husbandman as His Father, He could enter death and the grave.  He could trust God to raise Him up.  All that Christ is and has, He has, not in Himself, but from the Father.

 

Treasures From The Vine— The Purpose Of The Branch

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Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.

And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not

believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love,

and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on a dying world.

-Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 

Every branch in me that bears not fruit

He takes away. – John 15:2

Here we have one of the chief words of the parable – branch.  A vine needs branches:  Without branches it can do nothing, can bear no fruit.  As important as it is to know about the Vine and the Husbandman, it is to realize what the branch is.  Before we listen to what Christ has to say about it, let us first of all take in what a branch is and what it teaches us of our life in Christ.  A branch is simply a bit of wood, brought forth by the vine for the one purpose of serving it in bearing its fruit.  It is of the same nature as the vine, and it has one life and one spirit with it.  Just think a moment of the lessons this suggests.

There is the lesson of entire consecration The branch has but one object for which it exists, one purpose to which it is entirely given up, to bear the fruit the vine wishes to bring forth.  And so the believer has but one reason for being a branch – but one reason for his existence on earth – that the heavenly Vine may through him bring forth His fruit.  Happy the soul that knows this, that has consented to it, and that says, “I have been redeemed and I live for one thing.  As exclusively as the natural branch exists only to bring forth fruit, I too; as exclusively as the heavenly Vine exists to bring forth fruit, I too.  As I have been planted by God into Christ, I have wholly given myself to bear the fruit the Vine desires to bring forth.”

 

Treasures From The Vine–I must Indeed Abide!

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Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.  And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love, and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on a dying world.

Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 

We know the meaning of the word except.  It expresses some indispensable condition, some inevitable law.  “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”  There is but one way for the branch to bear fruit, there is no other possibility: It must abide in unbroken communion with the vine.

Not of itself, but only of the vine, does the fruit come.  Christ had already said: “Abide in me”; in nature the branch teaches us the lesson so clearly.  It is such a wonderful privilege to be called and allowed to abide in the heavenly Vine.  One might have thought it needless to add these words of warning.  But no – Christ knows so well what a renunciation of self is implied in this:  “Abide in me”; how strong and universal the tendency would be to seek to bear fruit by our own efforts;  how difficult it would be to get us to believe that actual, continuous abiding in Him is an absolute necessity!  He insists upon the truth:  Not of itself can the branch bear fruit; unless it abides, it cannot bear fruit.  “No more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

But must this be taken literally?  Must I, as exclusively and manifestly and unceasingly and absolutely as the branch exists in the vine, be equally given up to find my whole life in Christ alone?  I must indeed!!  The except ye abide is as universal as the except it abide.  The no more can ye admits of no exception or modification.  If I am to be a true branch, if I am to bear fruit, if I am to be what Christ as Vine wants me to be, then my whole existence must be as exclusively devoted to abiding in Him as that of the natural branch is to abiding in its vine.