I mentioned in a former post ( entitled The "Faith-Good Stuff"), the Lord often places a simple picture in my mind when I meditatie on His word. When this happens, I quickly sketch it in my notebook. The visual helps me unpack the meaning in a way that I can both see and then hopefully apply its truth to my daily walk. Below is yet another "thought on paper" concerning God's word found in John 15:5. In this verse, Jesus is describing who He is in relation to his disciples: I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit.
1. I AM THE VINE-- In the first of the four illustrations, I sketched "the vine" in the shape of the cross. At the cross we declare, I have been crucified with Christ... (Gal 2:20). And, at the cross, we put to death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13)--pride, control, anger, idolatry, worry, fear, dismay, shame, (you name it).
2. YOU ARE THE BRANCHES--Once we have confessed that Jesus is both Savior and Lord of our own hearts, believing He has conquered both sin and death, new life begins in us...HIS life....it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me...(Gal 2:20)... old things have passed away; behold, new things have come (II Cor. 5:17)--new thoughts, new desires, new truths.
3. ABIDE IN ME, AND I IN YOU--Abiding in Him means sitting still with Him, hearing Him speak to your heart through His word concerning this new life. And then the second phrase, and I in you, means getting up from the sitting position and living this new life by obeying His word.
4. YOU WILL BEAR MUCH FRUIT--The abiding process then brings bountiful blessing:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control... those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Gal 5:22-25)
I have to confess, my flesh is so stinkin' strong that I have to start this process all over again each and every day! But thankfully, my God is stonger, and His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:23).
Let's you and I intentionally come to the cross, "the vine," and die daily so that He can live in and through us.
I will end my picture-scripture the way Jesus ends His teaching in John 15:5...for apart from Me you can do nothing.
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Psalm 36:5
Dear Lord, We praise you for the amazing love that was demonstrated at the cross. It is higher than the heavens! You, King of heaven and earth, King of kings past, present and future, gave up everything to gain us as your people. May we never belittle your extravagant love. Amen.