Monday, August 11, 2014

Without the Vine, A Branch is Just a Board

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. (John 15:5)

Often, in our conversations about salvation, we use the image of being “in Chrit” to describe the way God views us in our new justified state. Because He sees us through the “filter” of Christ’s blood, He does not see our sinful lives, but rather the righteous life of His Son (the theological term for this concept is “imputation”).

How would your life change if you chose to see the world through that same filter? What if you chose to view everything in life through the eyes of Jesus? What if you chose to make all your decisions through the mind of Jesus? This is the premise of being centered in Christ.

Placing Christ at the center of my life is important, submitting to His lordship is critical. However, sometimes we have a tendency to live as though Christ’s presence at the center of our lives doesn’t necessarily mean that He touches every aspect of our life.

Read and contemplate John 15:1–11.

As you think about this passage, consider specifically what it means that we are branches on the vine of Jesus. What happens to a branch that is disconnected from the vine?

A branch without the vine is a board, not a branch. Apart from the life-giving power of the vine, it ceases to be what it once was.

We must discover what it means to draw our life from Jesus. As long as we are depending on our own efforts to get through life, we haven’t yet realized what it means to be centered in Christ. Just as the branch cannot survive without the vine, we cannot survive without the life-sustaining support of Jesus.

Today: Whatever you are doing, wherever you are, keep this thought at the very front of your mind: “I cannot do this apart from Christ.”

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