This Brought Me To Tears

Joyce Shafer

Joyce L. Shafer

Yes, I did cry when I read this paragraph segment (stay with me—you’ll get the “why” shortly):

“When a graft is united with the stock on which it is to grow, we know that it must be kept fixed, it must abide in the place where the stock has been cut, been wounded, to make an opening to receive the graft. No graft without wounding—the laying bare and opening up of the inner life of the tree to receive the stranger branch. It is only through such wounding that access can be obtained to the fellowship of the sap and the growth and the life of the stronger stem. Even so with Jesus and the sinner.” – Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ

 In the Garden, the Adversary lured humanity to exchange our Father’s family and Kingdom for his kingdom of darkness. Jesus humbled Himself into human form to pay the ransom and our sin penalty at the same time. Christ Jesus, the Vine, gave Himself to be wounded so that we the branches could be grafted in and begin to receive the life He—the Way, the Truth, and the Life—redeemed us into as family members of our Father’s Kingdom, and all that being His sons and daughters provides.

Every branch grafted in must be removed from its original place, and the new tree or vine must be wounded to establish what is intended, by the husbandman, to become a permanent oneness in relationship—we might even call this a covenant. The vine or tree then begins to feed its “bread of life” (sap) to that which is grafted so it can take hold, grow, mature as one with the vine, and produce better fruit. In horticulture, some grafts do fail. But unlike it is for some of us, it isn’t because it craves its former life. Because, just as wounding the vine is required, so is trimming the grafted branch to fit where it’s to now live and thrive, that is, if the branch receives what’s being offered rather than rejects it. Plus, it gets pruned as needed.

Andrew Murray also wrote, “To abide unceasingly in Christ is the portion of every believer.” This Vine-and-branch image caused me to recognize that prior to this deeper understanding, I’d actually perceived myself as a branch separate from the Vine, positioned near rather than joined to Him. What a lonely, frightening experience that is, one our loving Father never intended for us. From the Garden, He has done everything to lead us to understand He is our Father Who wants us, whom He made in His image, to be His eternal family. This frightening loneliness, I believe, is how many might feel—believers in Jesus as well as not-yet-believers, if they haven’t experienced what’s being described here.

The closer we are in our relationship with the Vine Jesus is to us, the less chance Darkness has of ever again taking hold of us and keeping us captive to its sin nature. Here’s an example of the importance of grasping and reaffirming our Vine-to-branch relationship, found in Andrew Murray’s book, Humility:

“Let us consider how our lack of love, indifference to the needs and feelings of others, even sharp comments and hasty judgments that are often excused as being honest and straightforward, are thwarting the effect of the influence of the Holy Spirit on others. Manifestations of temper and touchiness and irritation, feelings of bitterness and estrangement, have their root in nothing but pride. Pride creeps in almost everywhere, and the assemblies of the saints are not exceptions.”

As you can see, we must hold firm to our connection, our relationship with our Vine so we more and more are filled with His nature so that His nature becomes what we cannot help but express in every thought, word, action, and prayer. By “hold firm” I mean we are to reaffirm union on a moment-by-moment basis, no matter external circumstances or desires of our flesh.

I’ve included cover images below for three books I’ve quoted in this writing, and highly recommend, should you desire to understand more about Jesus our Vine, as well as how to get into a personal relationship with Him or deepen the one you have. Too often I hear people make comments about Almighty God that make clear one thing: They don’t know Him, so how can they genuinely love Him or trust Him? I can attest to this: I treasure that moment I, for the first time, felt genuine love for Him. As with humans, so it is with God: How can you love someone whom you do not know?

Here is an excerpt from another book I recommend (attribution below list). I recommend saying each aloud so your heart and mind hear the Truth, either again or for the first time.

He is our Abba Father – Rom 8:15

He is our Advocate – 1 John 2:1

He is the Almighty – Gen 17:1

He is our All in All – Col 3:11

He is the Alpha and Omega – Rev 22:13

He is the Ancient of Days – Daniel 7:9

He is the Anointed One – Psalm 2:2

He is the Author and Finisher of Our Faith – Heb 12:2

He is the Beginning and the End – Rev 21:6

He is the Bread of Life – John 6:33

He is our Bridegroom – Isa 62:5

He is the Bright Morning Star – Rev 22:16

He is the Captain of the Lord’s Host – Jer 5:15

He is the Chosen One – Isa 42:1

He is the Christ – Matt 22:42

He is the Son of the Living God – Matt 16:16

He is our Comforter – John 14:26

He is an All-Consuming Fire – Heb 12:29

He is our Counselor – Isa 9:6

He is our Creator – 1 Peter 4:19

He is our Deliverer – Rom 11:26

He is our Dwelling Place – Psalm 90:1

He is Emmanuel – Matt 1:23

He is the Eternal God – Deut 33:27

He is the Everlasting God – Gen 21:33

His Name is Faithful and True – Rev 19:11

He is our Foundation – 1 Cor 3:11

He is a Fountain of Living Water – Jer 2:13

He is our Friend – Matt 11:19

He is a Gift of God – John 4:10

He is God Over All – Rom 9:5

He is the Head of the Body – Col 1:18

He is the Head of the Church – Eph 5:23

He is the Holy One – Acts 2:27

He is our Blessed Hope – Titus 2:13

He is the Great I AM – Exodus 3:14

He is Jehovah – Psalm 83:18

He is Jesus – Matt 1:21

He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – 1 Tim 6:15

He is the Lamb of God – John 1:29

He is Life – John 14:16

He is the Light of the World – John 8:12

He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah – Rev 5:5

He is the Living God – Daniel 6:20

He is Living Water – John 4:10

He is the Lord of All – Acts 10:36

He is the Lord of Glory – 1 Cor 2:8

He is Love – 1 John 4:8

He is your Maker – Job 35:10 & Psalm 95:6

He is our Merciful God – Jer 3:12

He is Messiah – John 4:25

He is the Mighty God – Isa 9:6

He is the Only Begotten Son – John 1:18

He is our Passover Lamb – 1 Cor 5:7

He is our Peace – Eph 2:14

He is the Great Physician – Luke 4:23

He is the Prince of Peace – Isa 9:6

He is our Redeemer – Job 19:25

He is our Refuge and our Strength – Jer 16:19

He is the Righteous One – 1 John 2:1

He is the Rock of our Salvation – 1 Cor 10:4

He is our Savior – Luke 2:11

He is the Son of God – Matt 27:54

He is the Son of Man – Matt 8:20

He is the Son of the Most High – Luke 1:32

He is our Source – Heb 5:9

He is our Strength – Jer 16:19

He is our Stronghold – Nahum 1:7

He is our Strong Tower – Prov 18:10

He is our Teacher – John 13:13

He is True Light – John 1:9

He is the Vine – John 15:15

He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life – John 14:16

His name is Wonderful – Isa 9:6

He is the Word of God – John 1:1

Excerpted from Jesus: The Premise of the Promise

by Stephen Quayle

The peace of our LORD be with you, guide you, and be your portion each day.