Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

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December 13, 2021: The Branch, Not the Vine

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1, NASB).

Jesus’ teaching in John 15:1 illustrates our dependence on Him: “I am the true vine,” He says. How often have we tried to be the vine, but produced sour grapes—the ugly works of the flesh? We have tried to find holiness and love for others in ourselves, which we will never find. “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature” (Rom. 7:18, NIV).

Jesus, the true Vine, will produce the fruit of the Spirit as we allow Him to live in us. “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live” (Gal. 2:20, KJV). Paul, who was crucified with Christ, was not the vine, vainly trying to do his best. He was the branch, whose self-confidence was broken and dependent on the Lord.

The responsibility of trying to be the vine makes us tense, predisposing us to further sin. Attempting to depend more on Him without repenting of trying to be the vine is vain. Dependence on the true Vine, and, our willingness to be the branch and not the vine, allows His salvation and blessings to be worked out through us to reach others.

Lord, may we stop trying and start depending on You. Amen.

William Peterson is the executive secretary of the Pennsylvania Conference.