|artwork by Krista Hamrick|
It is so energizing and exciting to participate in #Write31days, an online writing challenge where writers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in the month of October. Within the #Write31days category of Inspiration & Faith, I chose to focus on the topic of the Name Above All Names every day for 31 days. You can view each of my daily posts at this landing page.
Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference.
Amplified: I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
J. B. Phillips: I am the vine itself, you are the branches. It is the man who shares my life and whose life I share who proves fruitful. For the plain fact is that apart from me you can do nothing at all.
The Message: I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.
Pastor John MacArthur writes: “The night before His death, Jesus says, "I am the Vine." Like the other great "I am" passages recorded in the Gospel of John, it points to His deity. Each one is a metaphor that elevates Jesus to the level of Creator, Sustainer, Savior, and Lord—titles that can be claimed only by God. The metaphor in John 15 is of a vine and its branches. The vine is the source and sustenance of life for the branches, and the branches must abide in the vine to live and bear fruit. Jesus, of course, is the vine, and the branches are people. The true meaning of the metaphor is made clear when we consider the characters in that night's drama. The disciples were with Jesus. He had loved them to the uttermost; He had comforted them with the words in John chapter 14. The Father was foremost in His thoughts, because He was thinking of the events of the next day. Jesus made a promise to His children, "I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” He guaranteed the security of the child of God: "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” A true believer cannot lose his salvation and be condemned to hell. A branch that is truly connected to the vine is secure and will never be removed. Jesus chose the figure of a vine for several reasons. The lowliness of a vine demonstrates His humility. It also pictures a close, permanent, vital union between the vine and branches. It is symbolic of belonging, because branches belong entirely to the vine; if branches are to live and bear fruit, they must completely depend on the vine for nourishment, support, strength, and vitality. Yet many who call themselves Christians fail to depend on Christ. Instead of being attached to the true vine, they are tied to a bank account. Others are attached to their education. Some have tried to make vines out of popularity, fame, personal skills, possessions, relationships, or fleshly desires. But none of those things can sustain or bear fruit. The true vine is Christ.”
Lord Jesus, Thank You for being my True Vine, by Your Spirit, give me the desire to read your Word and to meditate on it day and night. Most of all, empower me to do what it says. And for the fruit that is borne, I will give you all the glory! Grant me the power to understand the limitless extent of Your love. Be the center of my life and reveal Yourself to me today! Thank You for Your abundant supply day by day as I abide in you. Thank you for making Your divine wisdom available to me through Your indwelling Holy Spirit! Give me a heart which focuses on my position in Christ. I cannot do this on my own. But in Your Spirit’s power, as Your life flows through me, just as sap flowing through the branches of a vine will cause them to bring forth fruit, enable me to be aware of Your presence with me continually in Christ. In Your mighty Name Above All Names—the True Vine, we pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on John 15:5 pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on John 15:5 pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."
Look Out—as you meditate on John 15:5 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ