Day 25

The True Vine

from the John reading plan

John 15:1-27, Hosea 14:4-8, Philippians 1:9-11

BY Scarlet Hiltibidal

I’ve become a little obsessed with the vines that cover the wall that separates my patio from my neighbor’s. I’ve never been a plant person, really. I think it’s just that I took greenery for granted when we lived in rural Tennessee and now, there’s little green in my life. 

Homesick for nature, my husband and I are both super concerned about the health and well-being of the ivy on our wall. Did the vines get enough water today? Are they getting too much water? What does ivy like? Is that area over on the top left looking concerning to you? Do you think that one brown branch is from when Luis trimmed the vines the other day, or is it still attached and looking diseased? Who knows about vine health? Who can we call to protect our greenery? 

As I looked through today’s very plant-centric scripture passages, what stood out to me was not the plants themselves but the who that is responsible for their health and beauty, and what that beauty is actually for.

In John 15:1, Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” 

We are the branches. We aren’t necessary. Branches can be fruitful, or they can be pruned. A single branch can wilt or thrive. The vine is the center of attention and the gardener is in charge. The branch’s only hope is to remain connected to the vine in the gardener’s care.

But even after years of walking with the Lord––of learning that I am only healthy, alive, satisfied, and fulfilled when I’m a branch connected to the Vine (Jesus), being nurtured by the Gardener (God)—I still so often long for attention from other places, which leads to sin and pride and pain and heartache.

It’s only when we are connected to the Vine that we’re able to do what we were created to do, and that is to direct attention to the goodness of the Gardner, rather than try to get people to look at me! I still struggle with this. I still do things to try to make myself look impressive as if I’m a rogue branch that thinks it can water and nourish itself.

The fruit that may come from our lives is not from us or for us. It is completely from God and designed to reflect His glory.

Lord, we pray that our “love [would] keep on growing” like ivy, and that our lives would be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.” 

Post Comments (67)

67 thoughts on "The True Vine"

  1. K Swenson says:

    This passage and devotional is so freeing to me. I’m only responsible for abiding in Christ and He is responsible for my growth and pruning. I tend to take up the responsibility for this myself and it’s a weight lifted to hand it back to Him.

  2. K Swenson says:

    Taylor, I don’t think it’s silly to have the feelings that you are- I was like that in dating in general in my 20s. It’s hard not to write the story for Him and to assert our will. I will pray that you feel this weight lifted and can enjoy abiding and being a part of His story for you. Don’t feel shame. I believe the Lord is pleased when we confess(like you did) and trust(what you are taking steps to do). Blessings on you!

  3. Tiphani Taylor says:

    This was such a beautiful pictures of the health of the branches when they are connected to the vine. I’m so thankful it’s all on the Gardener to make the plant beautiful.

  4. Brooke P says:

    Praying for you all and your prayer requests❤️ thank you all for your continued prayers as well. I am so thankful for this community.

  5. Kylia Van Horn says:

    Lord I pray that I relinquish control over my life and that I let you be the one in control. Would you prune anything that is unholy or unrighteousness and guide me ways that ultimately bear fruit that gives glory to you and your kingdom. May I look at my fruit as an opportunity for other people to find you through the way I live. Lord, I desperately want you as my Gardner and no one else. May you guide my heart and life and help me to see you as the only one to be the king of my life that I follow!

  6. Dorothy says:

    Scarlet really caught my attention today, especially when she said “The fruit that may come from our lives is not from us or for us. It is completely from God and designed to reflect His glory.” That and yesterday’s devotion make me think how often how often do I want the glory and praise when it really should be about God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I want to be a branch that’s part of that VINE tended to by that SPECIAL GARDENER!!!! Lord help me to be YOUR branch on the Vine of Jesus. Amen.
    Be blessed and be a branch on that VINE tended by that SPECIAL GARDENER, sisters!!!

  7. Cindy Hanna says:

    This is the verse I connected with. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. – John 15:15 Years ago I had a mom introduce a new attendee in our Mops group to me as “My dear friend “. It made an impression and I adopted it in my own introductions of particularly close friends. I am more comfortable with the title “servant” than friend. I’m commonly called on to perform acts of service. Along with giving It’s my spiritual gift. Even my husband at times focus’s on my work ethic. I’m such a Martha. To hear that Jesus looks past my works to actually see me in all my faults and call me friend is deeply moving and honoring. Thank you Jesus “El Roi” The God who sees me.

  8. Peggy Hoffman says:

    2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. – John 15:2 so even when I AM bearing fruit for the Kingdom, I am pruned so I can bear even more…by God’s grace.

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