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December 28, 2019

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

- Romans 6:5-6

If we stood back and looked at where and how we are planted, there would be fewer arguments and upsets in our churches, communities and online forums. 

In a sense, true believers have all been planted in the same vineyard. I know John 15:5 says that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches: however, there are many ways scripture explains our relationships to our Saviour and each other, and this is another one of them.  

Our scripture suggests a question we all need to ask ourselves about where we are planted," ….IF we have been planted together.”

Now a branch doesn't get planted, but a vine does. So, that's the way we will look at it. If He is the vine, and we are in His likeness, then, in this instance, the illustration is that we are possibly also vines. Let’s look at a typical vineyard where well-grown vines seem identical, and we will see the concept of the ‘likeness'.  

If we let the Lord flow into our lives completely, we become similar to each other in our natures because the fruit of the spirit is identical. We have the specific personalities that make us us, but our natures should become similar.

All vines should be fed by the same water and food and should be dunged the same way, pruned the same way, and harvested the same way. 

Scripture is our water and food.  Also, when we pray and praise to the Lord, a type of food for the spirit is poured into us. We give a praise offering to God but we also get blessed in our spirit. That is why the Lord wants us to pray and praise often — giving Him thanksgiving offerings. 

We are all fed from the same storehouse of the fruit of the spirit. We are all offered the same love, the same joy, the same peace, the same long-suffering and gentleness, all offered the same goodness and faith, and all offered  the same meekness and temperance. So why do some of us fight and argue? 

It comes down to absorption. It is here we see the immense difference between a vine and a person. A vine readily drinks in the moisture and takes up the food that is offered. Only dead or dormant vines don't partake. Vines are dormant in winter when they are pruned. Each time good food or drink is offered to the vine, the vine takes it in, adding to its development, eventuating in a profitable harvest.

Humans, on the other hand, are similarly offered spiritual food and drink, but sometimes choose not to partake, becoming lazy or complacent. A Vine is planted deep in the soil where food and drink cannot escape its thirsty nature. Humans should be planted deep in the Bible — the Word — to comparably draw food and drink. Despite it being offered daily, some of us de-plant ourselves from our Bibles and close them, and then shun the guilt. 

We have been called to a wonderful calling — to follow Christ to the death of our self-centred nature and desires, and onto the resurrection in His likeness, robed and crowned with the spiritual adornments on offer. To receive that offer, we must ensure we are planted together with Him.

If our self-centred nature is not diminishing, it might be time to look in what vineyard where we are planted, because Christ’s vineyard demands we shed ourselves of ourselves, and grow like Him. 

Today’s prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that you are making me in the likeness of your Son. Sometimes I don’t partake of your Word as often as I should, or look deep enough into it. Please help me continue to follow you to the cross of my human nature, and take on your nature. 

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