Monday, 12 September 2016

Joined to Christ

“I am the true vine”  (John 15:1)

If you have ever visited Hampton Court, former grand home of England’s King Henry VIII – you are bound to have seen the ‘Great Vine’ – the oldest of its kind in the world.  Fascinatingly the spreading branches of this gigantic vine derive their life from a single central stem.

The vital UNION between a vine and its branches was used by Jesus to teach the necessary dependence of His followers on himself.  And ‘fruitfulness’ is the very life of God, outpouring itself in godly character and selfless service.  ‘Stay joined to Christ’ is the secret – and there WILL be ‘fruit.’  It will just happen!

William Nagenda of Uganda was one of the most effective Christian leaders Africa ever had.  It was in his early days of unbelief that he was first challenged.  “I was working in my city office,” he remembered,  “and heard some singing about Jesus from outside.  Exasperated, I flung open the door and shouted ‘Quieten down! What’s going on?’ 

“Four men faced me. ‘Ah,” they smiled, ‘We wish you knew!’

“Angrily I slammed the door shut.  But then I began to think.  I said to myself, ‘Their faces – so full of joy and peace…  I wish I had such a face!’  I came back to the four, and asked ‘How can I have a face like yours? W hat did you do to be like that?’  Their answer was dumbfounding.  ‘We have not done one single thing to be different!’  The explanation, they said, lay in the power of Christ.

“I could hardly take it in,” said William.  “But that, to me, was the beginning.”  By the evening William had become a believer.  

‘Apart from me you can do nothing,’ said Jesus.  Be a part of Christ, the True Vine - maintaining touch by prayer and His word every day - and the supernatural work of God will do the rest.  Test yourself one day regarding the ‘fruit’, as you look up Galatians 5:22,23!