MurTrue 08-07-96 

The True Vine


Andrew Murray

Moody Publishers, 2007, 148 pp., ISBN 978-0-8024-5655-7



Andrew Murray, (1828 to 1917) was a South African writer, educator and pastor.  He authored more than 200 books, many of them considered classics, as is this 31-day devotional on John 15. 


"All earthly things are the shadows of heavenly realities--the expression, in created, visible forms, of the invisible glory of God.  The life and the truth are in heaven; on earth we have figure and shadows of the heavenly truths.  When Jesus says: 'I am the true vine,' He tells us that all the vines of earth are pictures and emblems of Himself.  He is the divine reality, of which they are the created expression.  They all point to Him, and preach Him, and reveal Him.  If you would know Jesus, study the vine." (23)


"He had become man to show us what a creature ought to be to its Creator.  He took our place, and the spirit of His life before the Father was ever what He seeks to make ours: 'Of him, and through him, and to him, are all things' (Romans 11:36).  He became the true Vine, that we might be true branches." (27)


"All that Christ is and has, He has, not in Himself, but from the Father." (28)


"The branch has but one object for which it exists, one purpose to which it is entirely given up, to bear the fruit the vine wishes to bring forth.  And so the believer has but one reason for being a branch--but one reason for his existence on earth--that the heavenly Vine may through him bring forth His fruit." (31-32)


"The vine is the glory of the husbandman; the branch is the glory of the vine; the fruit is the glory of the branch." (35)  Fruit bearing is the one thing we have been saved for. (36)


"…you have been made a branch, with the one objective of bearing fruit for the salvation of men."  "The one object God had in making you a branch is that Christ may through you bring life to men." (36-7)  "Your first aim every day should be to know how Christ desires to carry out His purpose in you." (37)


"Some trees need occasional pruning; others bear perfect fruit without any; the vine must have it."  "…the one work the Father does to the branch that bears fruit is He prunes it that it may bear more fruit." (43)  "It is when everything that is not needful for fruitbearing has been relentlessly cut down, and just as little of the branches as possible has been left, that full, rich fruit may be expected." (44)


"It is the Word of God that is the knife, sharper than any two-edged sword…that is quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart." (47) 


"It is as the soul gives up its own thoughts and men's thought of what is religion and yields itself heartily, humbly, patiently to the teaching of the Word by the Spirit, that the Father will do His blessed work of pruning and cleansing away all of nature and self that mixes with our work and hinders His Spirit." (48)  "Yield yourselves in simple childlike surrender to the cleansing work of His Word and Spirit, and you may count upon it that His purpose will be fulfilled in you." (49)


"If I am to be a true branch, if I am to bear fruit, if I am to be what Christ as Vine wants me to be, then my whole existence must be as exclusively devoted to abiding in Him as that of the natural branch is to abiding in its vine."  "Abiding is to be an act of the will and whole heart." (56)


"Each day, in our quiet time, in the inner chamber with Him and His Word, our chief thought and aim should be to get the heart fixed on Him." (61)


"Have you ever noticed the difference in the Christian life between work and fruit?  A machine can do work; only life can bear fruit.  A law can compel work; only love can spontaneously bring forth fruit.  Work implies effort and labor; the essential idea of fruit is that it is the silent, natural, restful produce of our inner life."  (67)  "The connection between work and fruit is perhaps best seen in the expression, 'fruitful in every good work' (Colossians 1:10).  It is only when good works come as the fruit of the indwelling Spirit that they are acceptable to God." (68)


"The plant world was created to be to man an object lesson teaching him his entire dependence upon God and his security in that dependence."  "He wants to work in us with our consent.  This is the nobility of man, that he has a will that can cooperate with God in understanding and approving and accepting what He offers to do." (83)


"And what is its secret?  Be wholly occupied with Jesus.  Sink the roots of your being in faith and love and obedience deep down into Him."  "Be occupied with Christ." (84)


"The soul sees that…the faith that can trust Christ for keeping from sinning must prove its sincerity by venturing at once to trust Him for strength to obey.  In that faith it dares to give up and cut off everything that has hitherto hindered it and to promise and expect to live a life that is well pleasing to God." (103)


Abiding in His love has one condition, keeping his commandments.  His love that invites us also enables us to keep the commandments.  (104)  "It is the wholehearted surrender in everything to do His will that gives access to a life in the abiding enjoyment of His love." (105)


Obey and abide.  Obedience is the first duty of the creature and the only way to abide in the favor of God.  (108)


"We are to have Christ's own joy in us."  "There is no joy like love.  There is no joy but love."  "His joy is nothing but the joy of love, of being loved and of loving."  "He wants us to share: the joy of being loved of the Father and of Him; the joy in our turn of loving and living for those around us.  This is just the joy of being truly branches: abiding in His love and then giving up ourselves in love to bear fruit for others." (112)


"Love is His life, and this life He gives."  "Salvation is nothing but love conquering and entering into us; we have just as much of salvation as we have of love.  Full salvation is perfect love." (115)


"Let your thoughts of the Christians around you be, before everything, in the spirit of Christ's love.  Let your life and conduct be the sacrifice of love--give yourself up to think of their sins or their needs, to intercede for them, to help and to serve them." (116)


"…let the sense of past failure and present feebleness drive you to the Vine.  He is all love.  He loves to give.  He gives love.  He will teach you to love, even as He loved." (117)


"He gave His life to secure a place in our hearts for His love to rule us…."  "As we obey the commands, we shall know the love more fully."  "He began with absolute surrender of His life for us.  He can ask nothing less from us.  This alone is a life in His friendship." (127) 


"We have not considered implicit obedience as a condition of true discipleship.  The secret thought that it is impossible to do the things He commands us, and that therefore it cannot be expected of us, and a subtle and unconscious feeling that sinning is a necessity have frequently robbed both precepts and promises of their power."  "…take Christ's words as literally true, …'Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.'"  "The power to do them rests entirely in the personal relationship to Jesus." (128) 


Seek above everything to be a person of prayer.  Here is the highest exercise of your privilege as a branch of the Vine.  Like Christ, live not for yourself, but for others." (145)


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