Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Vines (11/21/05)
TITLE: Integral Connections
By Carol Adams
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tender, while others are woody.
Almost all vines have tendrils that coil and latch on to objects that give them support. Jesus is our true vine. We often look for support in other things, but He is only the truest of vines.
I = Involvement. In order for the vine to grow it needs the involvement of the whole plant. Without that involvement, the plant will die. From the very root of a tree to the top of the tree, all must work together to produce more leaves and more growth. The vine is the beginning shoot, and from there it forms branches and more veins to send food to the new growth so it will bear fruit.
So it is with Jesus in our lives. If we remain in Him, we will be prolific in fruit. As the vine, the tree and ourselves, the pruning process must take place to cut away that part that is infested with disease and sin. After this process is complete, we are free to grow uninhibited bearing much fruit.
The pruning process is painful, but unless the Master Gardner does this, we will infect the rest of the vine and we will bear no fruit. Involvement is so necessary for the fruit of the vine.
N = Network. We are the branches and Jesus is the vine. There is a definite system of chains linked to get the whole plant the nutrients that it needs for growth. If this chain
is incomplete, the whole system lacks and will never produce abundant fruit.
This is true of us in our connection with Jesus Christ. Apart from Him, we are absolutely nothing. We are a branch, but a dead one. Branches apart from the vine cannot produce
a single leaf or any type of fruit. However, in the true vine, the branch is full of life, bearing fruit.
E = End Product. The end product is abundant growth and fruit. Every year my trees get taller, leaves form which is their fruit. Cucumbers, strawberries, melons, and zucchini, all vine out producing the end product – fruit and vegetables.
“...he who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit” [John 15:5b]. We are His end product. He desires for us to live and grow in Him, while He supplies us with all that we need for a healthy system.
S = Secure. Just as a vine attaches itself to a support of some type, so must we secure ourselves to the true vine. When we do, we are anchored to and in Him.
Just as the vine experiences distress and tribulation in weather conditions, so we will experience hardships, but we are never to fear abandonment. We are in Him. He loves us and we are secure in Him. This is true of our position in the Vine. As long as we
remain in Him, we have life, growth and fruit. We are sustained and fulfilled in our connections.
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