I can remember the first few days that I was at Bible College. Not only did I feel sort of lost, amid all of these other people, but I was almost right away bombarded with the school’s theme. In fact, it is one of the first things I saw. Everywhere we went, we would be reminded of our theme, “ROOTED IN THE VINE”. The school even eventually put up a big banner in the fyer of our chapel, with “I am the true vine” written in huge letters. Everey day, as we would go to class or chapel, we would see these words – words that were spoken by Jesus himself!
These words allowed Jesus to begin to set the stage for what would soon be his final days on earth with the disciples. It can also apply to us today. Soon after Jesus states this, he says “Remain in me and I will remain in you”. In other words, Jesus is saying that if we place our trust in Him he will always be us. In John 15, Jesus tells us this 8 times. I think that he is definately trying to get the point to us. By being rooted in Christ, we can begin to grow and find a richness in our lives, one that we would not be able to experience without him.
In this passage, Christ begins by telling us who is is, then goes on revealing who we are and what we are. We are the branches of the vine. If we are fruitful, then God will prune us so that we will continue to be fruitful. However, if we are not fruitful, God will cut us off and not prune us, just as you would do in a literal vineyard. The fruit which we produce is meant to bring glory to God. But how do we do this? Jesus gives us the answer in John 15:5, “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit”. It’s pretty simple. Remain in Christ, staying rooted in his teachings, and you will bear fruit.
In our current culture, there are many different sources that tell us that if we follow them and root ourselve sin their teachings, then we will be happy. However, the pleasure, if any, that we get form these worldly sources is temporary. On the other hand, if we remain rooted in Christ, we will have a glory which never ends. There are so many different sources out there, some of which include television and the internet, that try to get us to give ourselves away to them. We need to recognize this and work at to prevent this from taking place. These temptations are all part of being human. But we can take comfort in the fact that God has promised to not tempt us beyond what we can bear. It says in 1 Corinthians 10: 13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.
And God is faithful; he will nto let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” So when we feel the temptation of TV, the internet, or something like that, we should always remember that God will not let you be temptedbeyond what you can handle, and that there is always a way out.
When I started, I talked about the different things that I saw my first few days and then months in Bible College. As the year went on, I began to see these things more and more, and yet I no longer felt bombarded by it. I insead felt convicted to live a life that Christ would have me live. Beint rooted in Christ would come up in our everyday conversations, and could often be something which we would have our most meaningful conversations about. When you go back to school tomorrow, and for the rest of the year, I challenge you to live your lives for Jesus. Whether it is by joining your ISCF group or just by showing the love of Chrit to others, continue to bear fruit. In John 15:16-17, Jesus tells us to “go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you wnatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.” So tomorrow at school, at work, or wherever, stay rooted in Christ and sow His love to all those around you.