Of Grapes and Vines

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

John 15:1 NIV

Last summer, I read Chasing Vines, by best-selling author and Bible teacher Beth Moore. If you adore the richness of an Italian landscape, appreciate the taste of a Sauvignon Blanc or a red wine blend, or identify with the parable of the vine and the branches, (illustrated in John 15) you’ll enjoy this book from introduction to epilogue.

As many Christians know, The Vine and the Branches in John 15 is all about staying close to Christ, or “abiding,” in your walk with God through the metaphor of the gardener (God), the vine (Christ), and the branches (disciples). Through her teaching, Beth shares some beautiful analogies between the rocky soil of a Christian’s daily walk in salvation and the delicate yet rigorous process of creating fruitful vineyards.

The whole concept of abiding is not only key, but foundational to a Christian who is rooted in a personal relationship with Christ (not religion) to be free to accomplish their purpose set forth before the beginning of time.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5 NIV

She also points out that in the Bible, the Old Testament refers to “the vine” as Israel. But in the New Testament, Jesus Christ takes His rightful place as “the true vine” (John 15:1). She calls this an amazing “sub-planting.”

About this Moore says, “John 15 is about living a naturally unexplainably life. It’s about doing what we can’t do on our own and becoming who we can’t be on our own.” (P. 52 of the Chasing Vines, Group Experience)

The words, concepts, and experiences in Chasing Vines will make you want to read more. And it will be a comforting and joyous read; for me that was certain.

I’m now re-reading her book while starting a group Bible study in my neighborhood. The study consists of a workbook, which is a great way to think about what Moore is presenting in her book and put it into your own words, like personal journaling. The study series also includes six short videos, which are equally enlightening and educational as she takes the reader closer to the leaves and buds and branches of the vineyard— figuratively and literally!

To all, enjoy this study that Beth Moore brings to life. But even more importantly, know that He abides in you.