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The Power of a New Word

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener...I am the vine; you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:1,5

Scattered throughout the book of John are the seven “I AM” statements of Jesus. I have spent the last several months studying these powerful words. I have found that Jesus carefully taught His disciples everything they needed to know. As He was making steps toward the cross, He was revealing to them the truth of Himself.


This week I found Jesus in the vineyard with His beloved disciples. Less than twenty four hours before facing the cross, yet He paused in the garden to teach them a new word. Up until then, He had continuously told them, “Follow Me.” But in the vineyard He gave them a new word.


“Abide.”


“Abide in Me and I will abide in you.” And then came the promise, “You will bear much fruit.”


Scripture doesn’t give us the details, but in my mind I picture Jesus touching the vine and the branch and perhaps carefully cupping a cluster of fruit in His hand. In the midst of the garden, He said to them, “I AM the true vine.”


“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener...I am the vine; you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:1,5

A practical vineyard experience I had a few years ago brings greater understanding. My friend Toni and I, traveled to Oregon to spend some time with our dear sister, Kim who was caring for her daughter that was stepping from this earth into her eternal home. We were there to love, listen and encourage. We were there to pray for healing and to be right in the middle of Kim’s unwanted reality.


One afternoon we found ourselves at the altar of a beautiful little chapel, praying and worshipping while the world passed by. The doors were always locked, but on that special day, we found entrance into the very presence of the Lord. Together, on our knees we slowly and awkwardly sang along with Hillsong.


In the crushing, in the pressing

You are making new wine.

In the soil I now surrender.

You are breaking new ground.

So I yield to You into Your careful hand.

When I trust You, I don't need to understand.

Make me Your vessel, make me an offering,

Make me whatever You want me to be.

I came here with nothing,

But all You have given me, Jesus, bring new wine out of me.

(New Wine - Hillsong Worship)


It was grueling to sing while watching our friend wrestle with the “Even if He does not…” It was even harder to sing as the mom of a dying daughter. And yet the three of us chose the beautiful surrender that this song depicts. We didn’t realize the greater significance until a few hours later when we found ourselves sitting in the middle of a vineyard sharing communion with one another.


They called it wine tasting, but for us the Lord set a table in the middle of His vineyard and invited us to join in His sufferings and eat and drink of His vine. He gave us great joy and hope in exchange for our surrender. Just as He took steps toward the cross, so we would have our own crosses to bear. He promised to be sufficient and faithful in it all, and the three of us testify that He was faithful and He is faithful and He will continue to be faithful.


Though there were no grapes on the vines that day, we stared at the carefully tied branches that were full of promise. It was obvious these were well tended vines, expected to produce more fruit. We also must cling to the promises that we yet see fulfilled, knowing that He is the promise keeper. From the vineyard, Jesus Himself promised that if we will abide in Him and He in us, we will bear fruit. Isn’t fruit bearing the purpose of the vineyard? His fruit will naturally appear on our branches as the Holy Spirit sap flows up through our lives. Suddenly, we will realize all of the fruit of the Spirit appearing on our branch. We will move from no fruit, to fruit, to much fruit, and to more fruit. Ever growing and maturing in Jesus.


And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control...” (Gal. 5:22-23)

The key word is ABIDE.

Remain, continue, cling, wait.

Believe for what you cannot see.


His life within will produce more than you can ever imagine.

When everything around you appears dead and unproductive,

Remember, as you abide, He produces.

Wait. Give Him time. Cling to the promise.

Allow the cleansing, the pruning, the crushing.

He is producing His fruit for His glory.

“Jesus, bring new wine out of me.”