Saturday, 3 October 2015

The Vinedresser and Our Struggles

The True Vine

1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; [a] and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word, which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will [b] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

John 15 verses 1-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

As I read this portion of scripture this morning I was reminded by the Lord that He often allows (and has been doing so with me) the trails that we go through in life, as a ‘means to an end’ that is designed to produce the character of Christ within us. Within these trial we can often find ourselves spending an ordinate amount of time trying to establish what it is that we have done or what has someone else done to us to bring about such upheaval upon our lives. Well it often has nothing to do with us or what we have done as such, but rather it is just part of that developing process.

In these scriptures, Jesus uses the metaphor of Him as the grape vine (stem) and us as the branches to describe part of the process that the Lord uses to bring about more fruit in our lives.


In verse 2a Jesus makes clear that branches that are bearing fruit are pruned back so that (it, they, us) may bear more fruit – Yikes!!!

So this pruning process is not for those that do not bear fruit, no those - ”that does not bear fruit He takes away;” but this practise is reserved for those who are bearing fruit. So how does pruning help us to bear more, dare I say better fruit why?

Pruning is a horticultural and silvicultural practice involving the selective removal of parts of a plant, such as branches, buds, or roots. Reasons to prune plants include deadwood removal, shaping (by controlling or directing growth), improving or maintaining health, reducing risk from falling branches, preparing nursery specimens for transplanting, and both harvesting and increasing the yield or quality of flowers and fruits. The practice entails targeted removal of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue from crop and landscape plants. (Wikipedia, 2015)

The Fruit

What type of fruit is God looking to grow in us brother Don? Well that type of fruit that which is enduring:-

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Galatians 5 verses 22-23New King James Version (NKJV)

So if we “Remain in Me (Him)” vs. 7 as Jesus is imploring us to do today, we can see change in our lives for the glory of God and the benefit of our families, our communities and other spheres of influence; as we ask what we wish (v7 & v8), in line with that which would bring glory to God.

So as you look in the mirror or look up to the heavens and ask why, remember that the pruning will bring about good fruit in our lives and that God never gives us more than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10 vs. 13); even if/when we don’t think we can make it.

God bless you,

Love Brother Don

v21. but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21 - New Living Translation).

v1.My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world. (1 John 4:1 -The Message - (MSG).

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Medicine often tastes bitter before better

As painful as it can sometimes feel when we chose to trust in God's word above our own desires, it's the way to a fulfilled life.

"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path" (psalm 119 vs 105). In my time of reading this morning this verse of scripture and the one below, really resonated in my spirit as I pondered upon my own journey over the years. Of the kings in the conversation below, their ends were very different, due to their ability (or not) to hear and heed God's word for theirs, and the nation's they led, lives and well-being.

A discussion between 2 kings...

"The king of Israel answered (king) Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” “The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied."
2 Chronicles 18:7 NIV

The king of Israel was called Ahab and his end was tragic to say the least (you can read more about both kings in the book of 1 kings chapter 22 from verse 22 and 2 Chronicles chapter 18 in the Bible).
Let us allow God's word to have its perfect way as He speaks to us about and works within our lives and remember, although the medicine may not taste so good, it's worth it when the course is completed.
Make God the keyholder.

God bless you,

The Lord be with you - 'Immanuel, God with us'

Love Brother Don

1 Thessalonians 5 vs 21
'But test everything that is said. Hold onto what is good/true.'

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