Today it occurred to me that without Christ we have no life. I mean we know Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Yet sometimes those words, like many others, will come to us in such a fresh way. This time I thought of Jesus saying he was the “True Vine.” I saw this to mean the same thing, he is the life! Without him we have no life at all. He said, “apart from me you can do nothing!”
There is a statement the Apostle Paul made while in Athens found in the 17th chapter of Acts that somehow connected with this also. Paul told the listening crowd that this God he was talking of “who made the world and all things didn’t dwell in temples made with hands.” He went on to say, “Neither is he worshiped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things.” This is an all sufficient God we’re talking about here.
Several times I have heard people say things such as, “God was lonely and that’s why he created man.” What? No he wasn’t. The God I’m talking about is in need of nothing! God meaning Father, Son and Holy Spirit were perfectly content in relation to each other. They were and are complete and lack nothing. The reason this God we speak of created us wasn’t out of necessity but love. God is love and love pours out to others, it is just the nature of love to give and give.
Let’s look again at this “true vine” statement. Jesus is telling us he is our source for life, righteousness, forgiveness, godliness and etc. Without him we search and search for wholeness and contentment to no avail. Just as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes “vanity, vanity all is vanity!” This vanity will define us too when we seek to find life and meaning apart from Christ. We look for it in wine, women and song and yet it still evaporates…eventually. There is nothing that’s gonna do it the way Jesus Christ is going to do it. It is only when we abide in him that we will bear fruit, fruit that will last.
I am seeing clearer everyday, when it comes to people’s frustrations, why they are in such turmoil. It is when we are looking to someone or something other than Christ to satisfy us that we end up in a twist. We begin to analyze and manipulate things in order to “figure it out.” Well let me save you a little anguish. The reason we are in such a spin most of the time is because we are looking for life from things that aren’t designed to give it to us in the first place. God is the source of life for all things and if we are to receive this life we are only going to find it in his Son and his name is Jesus Christ.
There is an advantage to this turmoil I speak of though. Let me share a story with you that comes from Ravi Zacharias. He tells of when he and his family lived in England. He says, ” When my family and I lived in England some years ago a terrible windstorm hit much of the country. Amazingly, thousands of trees were felled in one night. Some days later we were walking outside Buckingham Palace and my wife noticed something very significant. While the trees themselves were huge and very tall, their roots were unbelievably shallow. We marveled at this seemingly inexplicable disproportion.
A bit later, while visiting some friends, we expressed our surprise at the gigantic trees that were supported by such short roots. What we heard bore a fascinating lesson for life. The water level below the soil in England is so close to the surface that the roots do not have to penetrate very deep to find their nourishment. As a result, the roots stay shallow, and even though the trees are massive and sturdy on the outside, the first major storm uproots them with very little resistance offered.
What instruction is contained in that illustration, dear friend! It is not sufficient to have roots; the roots must go deep. But how do we build root systems capable of weathering every storm that seeks to draw us into the temporary and the profane?”
You see if everything was simple and we didn’t have any struggles we wouldn’t have a very strong root system either. It is only because of the turmoil and frustrations that we receive from these other sources that we seek for life somewhere a little deeper. Jesus Christ is the True Vine and the true wellspring of our lives.
Written by Louie