Thursday, May 30, 2013

LESSONS FROM THE GRAPEVINE

THE CULTIVATED VINE

Jesus said, “I am the True Vine and my Father is the Vinedresser”. – John 15:1

A cultivated grapevine is carefully tended by a gardener who takes pains to make sure that the vine has everything it needs to produce the best fruit. It is usually fenced in to protect it from enemies and the gardener removes all stones and other debris that could inhibit growth. He often builds posts or fences which are used to provide support to the growing vine.

Like the natural grapevine, God the Father puts a hedge of protection around us 
to keep us from the clutches of the enemy. 
He too, does all He can to ensure that our fruit – love, joy, peace etc. – 
is of the highest quality.

When a branch on a cultivated grapevine is producing fruit the gardener will prune it - cutting back branches and leaving it looking almost bare. This seems cruel, but it causes the branch to draw more life-giving sap from the vine. This eventually results in even greater growth, and yields fruit of excellent quality.

Our Father does the same with us. 
When we are in union with Jesus, the True Vine, the Father will periodically “prune us” 
in areas that have been quite productive. 
To the undiscerning this could feel like punishment or unfair treatment. 
However, this dry spell is the loving Father’s way of drawing us 
even closer to the Vine, Jesus, 
so that our fruit-character more greatly reflects Him.

THE WILD VINE

I planted you as 
a choice vine of seed 
fully tested and true. 
How did you degenerate into a wild vine for me? – Jeremiah 2:21

On the other hand a wild vine is not kept by a gardener, but grows at its own pace, sometimes rapidly. Its fruit are small, sour and inferior in quality. The wild vine cannot support itself, so it may wind itself around a tree until it gets to the top. Eventually it covers the top of the tree, and because the tree’s leaves can no longer receive enough sunlight, the tree begins to die.

The fact that an assembly is growing rapidly, is increasingly visible in the media 
and seems to be advancing is not necessarily an indication that it is connected to the True Vine. 
Jesus warned us saying, “Take heed that you not be deceived. 
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, 
‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.” – Luke 21:8

Paul warns us about “false apostles, deceitful workers, 
transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” – 2 Cor. 11:13-15

DON’T BE DECEIVED

Let us be diligent in testing each spirit to ensure that it is of God. Not every Christian program, book, CD, event or assembly is one that promotes intimacy with Jesus Christ.  Too many, like the wild vine, are on a mission to milk unsuspecting believers of their resources. They focus on their own ministries’ survival and personal ambition instead of the purposes of God. Eventually, because of lack of direct contact with the SON, those connected to them could suffer the same fate as the tree engulfed by the parasitic wild vine.

Which vine are you attached to?

“…by their fruits you will know them. 
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, 
but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 

Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 
And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; 
depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:20-23


10 comments:

  1. Such wisdom here! I want to be part of the true vine. Thank you for these words.

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  2. Thank you for sharing here at "Tell Me a Story." We have been grafted into the True Vine and are tenderly cared for by our Master. We shall be know by our fruit as we continue to abide in the vine!

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  3. Wonderful teaching here. There's a vine that grows outside, it looks like a grape vine but it doesn't produce any fruit - and it needs to be pulled out from the root - so it won't damage the bushes around it. Thank you for this lesson:)

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  4. Thank you for this biblical post. I know it. Our Father should prune me sometimes ... It is painful. But maybe it gives a good effect?

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  5. That's a nice read. It's true that there are many preachers out there who just build churches for the money. False prophets are everywhere and they are of the devil

    Thanks for sharing this.

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  6. You know, I work at a vineyard and winery and get to see the vines at all times of year. The time that impressed me most was winter, when the vines are pruned down to their main branches and look like infinite rows of black crosses as far as I can see across the crests of the hills. Cross after cross after cross, like a sad graveyard. And yet, when spring comes....well, they just spring out full and bursting with fruit in almost no time. I have seen so many parallels, as have you, that were probably so clear to the vineyard masters in those days.

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  7. What a convicting lesson. I certainly want to be connected to the True Vine.

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  8. I agree, what a great lesson to be reminded of over and over. It is so easy to get caught up in the "other" things of the world when we should be focusing on Jesus, the True Vine. Kim

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  9. Thank you for sharing this. May we be careful that we are attached to the One & Only True Vine. I visited from Let Me Tell You A Story :)

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  10. Thank you for sharing at Tell me a story. Oh my, I don't want to be like that "Wild vine" with the sour grapes. Nothing is worse than sour and bitter. May we always be sweet!

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