Weekly Church Devotion from Pastor Haydn Sennitt –
“I Am the Vine”
As a child, I remember lying down under an orchard with grape vines. As I looked up at the sky, the white grapes filtered through the sunlight; as the sun went through the sweet, tangled mess of the vine’s branches with its clusters it was so relaxing and glorious. It felt like abundant food and goodness was all around me, although later those grapes would go on to be eaten or make wine, juice, jam, or a juicy sandwich.
In the Old Testament, vineyards and fig trees were signs of protection, blessing, and abundant life. We see this in 1 Kings 4:25, “And Judah and Israel lived in safety … every man under his vine and under his fig tree, in all the days of Solomon” (ESV, c.f. Deuteronomy 20:6). Imagine everyone in Israel coming out with their picnic rugs to enjoy some family time under their vineyards with not a care in the world!
This image of the vineyard is likely what Jesus was alluding to when He said of Himself “I Am the (True) Vine” (John 15:1,5). He is the essence of blessed abundance! Jesus said this in the context of explaining how His disciples are connected to Him. Jesus is the vine from which the branches offshoot; the branches need the vine, not the other way around. Without our Vine, we branches “can do nothing” (15:5), unable to even make ourselves branches.
But the Vine is also the source of our ongoing sustenance. If we do not continue to abide in our Vine, then we will “wither” and watch life slowly drain out of like a puckered old prune (15:6-7). When we life in Him, we will go onto bear fruit, glorify God, and bring others to Jesus (15:8).
Christian or not, are you connected to the Vine? If you’re not a believer, then you are welcome to come to the Vine of Jesus and receive life! How much He longs to make you His branch, to give you joy (15:10-11). But you can only have it from Him if you cry out in repentance. If you are a Christian, have you strayed and become fruitless and lifeless? Return to your Vine daily for replenishment; it is not in ourselves. Let Him sustain you so that people will see God’s glory in your life and seek Jesus for themselves.
~ God bless, Pastor Haydn.