Sunday, May 02, 2021

I am the Vine

 "I am the vine, you are the branches." John 15:5




These words of Jesus, part of His farewell message to His disciples, are very powerful. If we can only understand the significance of this short phrase, we would be different persons. After Hudson Taylor contemplated these words, he considered his life "an exchanged life". Hudson Taylor wrote: “The Spirit of God revealed to me the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never known it before....I saw not only that Jesus will never leave me, but I am a member of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. The vine is not the root merely, but all- root, stem, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruit. And Jesus is not that alone- He is soil and sunshine, air and showers, and ten thousand times more than we have ever dreamed, wished for and needed. Oh the joy of seeing this truth!"


Why was it so exhilarating for Taylor to realize this? Hudson Taylor had been a mighty missionary of the faith in China for several years but he had been exhausted and depending much on his own strength and resources. 

He had been striving for faith! 


He wrote in a letter about this discernment, "...It is a wonderful thing to be really one with a risen and exalted Savior, to be a member of Christ! Think what it involves! Can Christ be rich and I poor? Can your right hand be rich and your left poor? Or your head be well fed while your body starves? No more can your prayers or mine be discredited if offered in the name of Jesus!"


Hudson Taylor founded the China Inland Mission and went through much suffering and challenges in doing so. His first wife and his second wife, and I don't know how many children died before him. His family was almost killed in a riot in China! His house burned down to the ground, nothing left! He had to depend much on God for providing not only for himself and his family, but also the mission. But God did provide! “The branch of the vine does not worry, and toil and rush here to seek for sunshine, and there to find rain. No, it rests in union and communion with the vine; and in the right way, is the right fruit found on it. Let us abide in the Lord Jesus." When Hudson Taylor died, his second son, Howard Frederick said of him, “Christ was the reason for his peace, his power for calm."


Lord, may I abide in You, live wholly connected to You by Your love for me! 


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