When most of us think about vineyards, we think about grape juice or wine. But, Jesus used a vineyard to describe our lives in Him. In His word picture, He is the grapevine, the Father is the gardener, and we are the branches. He summed up our our relationship to Him with three words: “Remain in Me.” I admit that even after I’d been a Christian for 30 years, I still didn’t understand His command to “Remain in Me.” Read about the old me in Surrendered, Part 1, from last week, here.
Resting & Remaining
In His command to remain in Him, I’ve discovered rest. I’m experiencing greater intimacy with Him and greater impact with Him while doing less. My new book, Surrendered, explores the idea of living as we were meant to live, continuously connected to our grapevine, Jesus.
“So, what does the branch do to remain? The answer is simple: We rest. The word “rest” describes the branch’s life best. Remaining in Jesus requires a continual state of dependence on Him. That dependence looks like rest as I wait on Him to do everything in me and for me that I need. But, don’t be fooled, though. Resting requires work, especially for those of us who are distracted or worried or fearful. Unfortunately, I have been all of those. Learning to stay at His feet, listening to Him and following Him takes effort, like shutting off social media, putting away my phone, or sitting quietly reading the Bible.
Jesus described this rest when He said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message). When we find rest in Jesus, we allow Him to do the rest for us.” (Week 4, Day 1, p.53)
Surrendered will be available this month, here on my website. I can’t wait to share it with you. If you’d like to receive a free download of chapter 1, just subscribe to receive emails from me, and I’ll send it to you. I promise not to flood your inbox. Once a week, I’ll send you some short, simple thoughts about living a rooted faith for your busy life.