Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vine Ripe?

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener....remain in me, and I will remain in you."
John 15:1-4

      I cut up a tomato today for BLT's and noticed as I popped a piece in my mouth, that it tasted very bland. The store where I bought them advertised "Vine ripe tomatoes." They were bright red and beautiful, and just as the ad promised, they were still attached to a vine.

      I guess the taste wouldn't have disappointed me so much if I had never tasted a truly ripe tomato off the vine - but I have. Because I have tasted the real thing, I was not easily fooled by these red impostors. I believed what I was told and what I saw, until I tasted it. The tomatoes were indeed on the vine, but the vine was cut off from the source of nourishment long before they were ripe; leaving them to turn red while in transport to their destination.

      As I finished putting the BLT's together to feed my family lunch, a thought came to mind. How many people are spiritually like these tomatoes? They look great on the outside but on the inside they haven't ripened (matured) because, though they appear to be growing on the vine, they are not attached to the true source of nourishment - Jesus Christ. In His word he tells us that He is the Vine. If we're trying to be Christians without Him, we are only impostors.

      Looking back at those tomatoes, I couldn't help but wonder -How many times have I settled for less than the real thing? If I look like a Christian on the outside, I pray that if the very core of my heart were exposed, it would reveal a Christian on the inside. When we're attached to the true Vine and nourished with God's love and truth, we ripen from the inside out. We can then live our lives with no false advertising, and we can honestly say, "Vine Ripe!"