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Cades Cove Autumn 05-652x415_17

 

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

FRUIT.  This is the next great word we have: the Vine, the Husbandman, the branch, the fruit.  What has our Lord to say to us about fruit?  Simply this – that fruit is the one thing the branch is for, and that if it bear not fruit, the husbandman takes it away.  The vine is the glory of the husbandman; the branch is the glory of the vine; the fruit is the glory of the branch.  If the branch bring not forth fruit, there is no glory or worth in it; it is an offense and a hindrance; the husbandman takes it away. The one reason for the existence of a branch, the one mark of being a true branch of the heavenly Vine, the one condition of being allowed by the divine Husbandman to share the life of the Vine is bearing fruit.  And what is fruit?  Something that the branch bears, not for itself, but for its owner; something that is to be gathered and taken away.  The branch does indeed receive from the vine sap for its own life, by which it grows thicker and stronger.  But this supply for its own maintenance is entirely subordinate to its fulfillment of the purpose of its existence – bearing fruit.  It is because Christians do not understand or accept this truth that they so fail in their efforts and prayers to live the branch life.  They often desire it earnestly; they read and meditate and pray, and yet they fail, and they wonder why.  The reason is very simple:  They do not know that fruitbearing is the one thing they have been saved for.

Just as entirely as Christ became the true Vine with the one object, you have been made a branch, with the one object of bearing fruit for the salvation of men.  The Vine and the branch are equally under the unchangeable law of fruitbearing as the one reason of their being.  Christ and the believer, the heavenly Vine and the branch, have equally their place in the world exclusively for one purpose: to carry God’s saving love to men.  Hence the solemn word: Every branch that bears not fruit, He takes away.

 

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