“I know I am tapped into trust in Jesus when my love for others escalates and joy bombs explode.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 9, 2021
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. John 15:1
Jesus describes Himself as the true vine, the only real option to obtain life. There are other competing vines that offer a pseudo power source that lacks any sustaining strength. A leader may learn a skill, hone his craft or develop her giftedness, but the vine of self only leads to exhaustion, even burnout for a believer striving in the fallible flesh. Or the vine of sin may seduce a leader to take a dishonest shortcut for expediency only to waste a lot of sideways energy in repentance and a redo. Only trust in the true vine of Jesus infuses spiritual life into a leader.
Jesus is addressing His disciples very close to the time of His crucifixion. No doubt the foundation of their faith was shaken under the shifting sand of fear and doubt. His handpicked successors needed reassurance. How would they survive without their Master? Would they follow His same fate? Was the last three years of their lives wasted, a farce? No. Their source of life in the Lord Jesus would not die, but come alive at His death and resurrection. The root of His vine would be the root of their righteousness. Their leadership would flourish in the soil of faith.
“The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in” (Isaiah 5:7).
As a leader, I must ask myself often, “Am I laboring and leading in Christ’s vineyard or in my own vineyard? Is my allegiance to the One who will one day make all things new, or am I satisfied with merely working for what gain can be acquired in this world? My spiritual life as a leader is invigorated when my source of life is 100% in the true vine of Christ. Intimacy grows with my Savior as the sweet juices of His love flow from His lifegiving vine to my thirsty soul. I know I am tapped into trust in the true vine when my love for others escalates and joy bombs explode.
How do we stay connected to the true vine? We start by dismissing and/or digging out the wild vines of self and sin that only choke out life and stunt growth. Next, we grow intimate with Jesus the true vine, draw from the sap of His lifegiving love and wisdom to make the best decisions. Proximity to the Lord in prayer, Bible study, worship at church and community draw us closer to the object of our affections, the Lord God Almighty. Spiritual leaders connected to true life labor in Christ’s vineyard as they exude love, and their influence enjoys accelerated, divine growth.
“You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land. The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. Its branches reached as far as the Sea, its shoots as far as the River” (Psalm 80:8-11).
Precious Jesus, thank you for being my vine for life, love and strength, in your name, amen.
How can I better tap into trust, intimacy and strength in the true vine, Jesus Christ?
Tauren Wells/Gary LeVox: Until Grace
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