John 15:5-7 – “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned.”  NASB

If Christ is in us (in our hearts), then the life that we live in the flesh is His life.  I have heard people sing or preach and someone comes up to them and tell them how much they were ministered to as a result only to hear the person say, “Oh it was not me it was the Lord.”  While that is true, I must ask, “Wasn’t that you on the platform singing or speaking?” 

Remember that while it is the Lord, and all credit is due Him you are the vessel that He is using, so do not draw back from celebrating your uniqueness or the anointing and gifting He has bestowed upon you.  He made you like He made you and gifted you like He gifted you, so it is “I live, yet not I….”  It is Christ in Me!  You do not trust yourself, but you are totally reliant on Him.  He is the Vine, and we are the branches or a vine branch!

Have you ever considered the reality that a ‘vine branch’ is utterly useless in and of itself?  If a ‘vine branch’ is not producing grapes it has no use whatsoever.  I believe that God chose this deliberately to teach us a vital truth.  What is the Vine?  Think about it because if you dig deep enough you will realize that the vine is invisible.  It is an invisible life that comes up through the trunk and inevitably produces a leaf that produces a flower that produces a grape!  I have never seen a vine, but I have seen expressions of it.  Therefore, the Branch does nothing but receive the Life that is in the Vine!

Can you imagine coming to a vine in the springtime and hearing the branches say, “Man I’ve got to get this leaf out so we can produce grapes?”  No, it just hangs there effortless waiting on the life that is in the vine to flow through it and do the work.  Jesus is trying to convey to us that it is the same principle in the Christian Life.  We are just the flow-through vessels of the Life that is in the Vine!    He is trying to convey to us that if we will just be ‘in’ Him, He will do the work and produce the fruit!

Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 when He said, “Come unto me all you that labor and are heaven laden and I will give you a rest.”  The word rest could be accurately translated as a vacation.  What is a vacation?  It is when you stop working and rest!  Jesus was not speaking to sinners; He was speaking to believers.  He was talking to people who were trying to ‘work enough, do enough, and please God.’  So, if you ever grow sick and tired of trying to do enough to please God He is calling ‘Come unto Me, and I will…’  

Imagine that!  Christianity that wants to deserve and earn God’s favor has a difficult time with that.  If we have to struggle to please God, we have several choices.  You can be a Buddhist, Hindu, or any other religion in the world because they are all struggling.  But, if I am a Christian, according to the Bible, I Stop Struggling and allow the Life of the Vine to Life and Flow through me.  “I live, but it is not I, it is Christ.”  All the Branch does is remain In the Vine!  The Life that is in the Vine flows into the branch and produces the visible fruit!  That in no way diminishes our responsibility or accountability but frees us to Live His Life as it flows through us.

Stop Struggling and allow Christ in you to produce the Hope of Glory!  Let God live His life through you!   Christianity is a Rest, not a Struggle!

May God bless you as you go through your day!

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