每日诗歌: In Christ Alone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENtL_li4GbE)
枝子只有一个目的，那就是结果子(15:2)。我爸爸付出的所有的辛勤劳动，就为一件事 – 有一天我们会享受它的果子。当枝子失去了那个功用，它对葡萄树和栽培的人就变为无用。它反而吸收了可以用来供给其它结果子的枝子的养份。因此，它需要被修剪。如果仅仅把果子认为是领人归向基督，那是对如此丰富的画面太有限的理解。更进一步的，它指的是主的品格在我们生命的各个方面的增长，因为只有这样才能够给栽培的人带来荣耀。愿你是真葡萄树上多结果子的枝子，这样栽培的人会很喜悦，并且别人也会从你生命的甜汁中得着益处。
2 Chronicles 17 [Read]
2 Chronicles 18 [Read]
2 Chronicles 19 [Read]
John 15 [Read]
When I was growing up, our home was the only one in our neighborhood had a grapevine. That’s a luxury for people lived in the city. My dad was a plant lover, and he grew many plants in our small yard including a grapevine. In order to create space for its growth, dad built a canopy for it to climb on. Every year we saw the branches going up the canopy, creating a nice refuge under the scorching sun. A couple months later, we saw the grapes popping up everywhere. When they turned purple, that was the time to enjoy the delicious fruit of dad’s hard work.
Vine and vineyard are common metaphors used by Jesus to convey the truth, but John 15 was the only one where he referred himself as the vine. Furthermore, the father was the gardener (Jn 15:1). Disciples of Christ were the branches, though not all branches were true disciples. It’s a beautiful picture to depict the organic nature of the life of a disciple of Christ.
Branches cannot survive apart from the vine (15:5), for that is its life line. All the water and nutrients come through the vine. The branch cannot say “I can gain more freedom by cutting myself from the vine”, for that will mean the end of its life. On the other hand, the vine will never say “I don’t feel like supplying nutrients to this branch anymore”. They are closely and organically connected. “Remain in me and I will remain in you” (15:4). It’s not just a warning, but also a comforting assurance.
Branches have one purpose only that is to bear fruit (15:2). All the hard work my dad put in was with one thing in mind – we would enjoy its fruit someday. When the branch loses that purpose, it becomes useless to the vine and the gardener. It simply sucks up nutrients that could be used by other fruit-bearing branches. Therefore, it needs to be pruned. To understand the fruit as simply leading others to Christ is too limited a view for such a rich picture. Instead, it refers to the growth of characters of the master in all aspects of our lives, for only that can bring glory to the gardener.
May you be a fruitful branch of the true vine, so that the gardener will be pleased and others will be benefited by your sweet juice of life.
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