North Carolina’s number one industry is agriculture. And there’s no better place to see the produce and animals than the North Carolina State Fair. Each October our family joins thousands of people to enjoy the rides, pig races, farm animal judging, NC food products, honey cotton candy, and fried foods. We also look for the ribbon winners (sometimes ourselves) for crafts, art, photography, sewing, cakes and cookies. One of our favorites is to see the largest produce– pumpkins, apples, sweet potatoes. This year’s blue ribbon, largest pumpkin weighed 799.6 lbs! There was a sweet potato larger than a person’s head and a watermelon weighing in at 282 lbs.
Looking at the pumpkin and sweet potato I tried to imagine how large the plant and vine must have been in that garden. That pumpkin couldn’t have grown without a strong vine giving it nutrients and supporting its growth. Without the vine that pumpkin wouldn’t have existed.
The vine is essential in a garden or a vineyard. In a vineyard the vine is the main part of the grapevine. It extends from the root system in the ground and holds the branches where the grapes are produced.
Jesus said, “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener…Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me…I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:1, 4-5 NET)
Who is Jesus, the true vine, the one I need to be connected to, and relate so closely to?
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, and the one who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)
He is the one who came from God, lived a perfect life, and who died and rose from the dead as witnessed by hundreds of people. He died out of love, compassion, and forgiveness so that we could know God’s deep love for us. We deserved the penalty of death for our sins but He chose to pay it for us instead.
Trusting in Jesus as my Savior makes me His follower. Then I desire to know Him more because He loves me and cares about me. This is how Jesus described Himself:
“I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29
Jesus is my life source, my joy, and my purpose for living. I cannot live without His love, forgiveness, peace, kindness, and gentleness. As I remain with Him he teaches me how to live through His words. He will give me the power to accomplish what He asks me to do.
Because Jesus is the True Vine I can know true life. Do you know the True Vine? Are you remaining with him daily? He longs for us to know Him more deeply and to produce the most abundant fruit in our lives.