Jesus, You are the vine of life for me, and the only way to the Father.
I choose to abide in You today, and I ask You to abide in me.

Focus of the Month: Jesus Messiah

As winter thaws, and the sunshine warms the air, we witness new life poking up through the soil. Patches of grass begin to green. The dead sticks of trees and bushes suddenly burst with buds of new leaves. Simultaneously, the stems of daffodils and tulips emerge from the ground. Ah! New Life! It removes the sting of the dead, cold winter and infuses us with expectancy, joy and energy!

All that life started with seeds planted in the soil, watered, warmed…the grass, the trees, the flowers, the bushes. At the right time, the sprouts burst from the seeds, pushed up through the soil, and grew into the beautiful plants their own seeds produce. Some plants produce food, others shade; some beauty, others covering. Each one contains and displays purpose.

Furthermore, great purpose abides in another seed. God the Father planted Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Man, the Word made flesh, in the earth to bring life and light to us – redemption and salvation – provision and protection – healing and restoration. He Himself said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1). God planted His best seed – Jesus – in the earth for our benefit! Life flows through Him and grows through Him.

In order for us to receive this life that only comes through Jesus, we must be connected to Him. For Jesus also said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).

Fruit can’t grow from a branch not connected to the vine. Likewise, we can’t produce good, lasting fruit while not being connected to Jesus. Life cannot produce or reproduce from a dry, broken, disconnected branch. In the same way, we cannot enjoy or participate in the life God intended us to have if we are disconnected from Jesus.

The lush, green, colorful, joyful life we witness each spring bursting from the frigid, empty, dead winters provides beautiful imagery of our lives becoming connected to and abiding in Jesus. We once were dead, but behold, Jesus makes all things new! Disjointed and broken, yet Jesus heals and restores us! We once were chained to sin. Alas, Jesus sets us free! We were dried up, tangled and brittle, but He infuses us with His light and life, causing us to be alive, strong and fruitful.

Jesus – the Word made flesh, God’s perfect seed – provides us the ability to enjoy His life and light. Implant His seed in the fertile soil of your heart today and stay connected to the true vine. In the days and weeks to come, new life will sprout from you, and good fruit will abound.

Holding Fast to Hope,

Maryann

Scripture References: John 1:1-5; 3:13; 3:18; 14:6; Romans 3:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Peter 2:24-25; Revelation 21:5