"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned." (John 15:5-6 NIV)
Our garden is producing wonderfully this season. This has it's good points and bad ... the good point is that our pantry is filling up with beautifully canned vegetables; the bad point is that it's a lot of hard work. But nonetheless, we are incredibly grateful for bounteous harvest!
Ron is heading out to the garden once more to pick beans. Being a lover of this particular fruit of the vine drives him back time and time again to pick through the bushes to find choice beans and present them to me for canning or freezing. He just was commenting that two rows are about "picked out" ... there aren't many blossoms left on the vine. But, something else he said really struck me. When he was harvesting beans a few days ago, some of the plants became uprooted and some of the branches broke off. The next day he went out ot the garden and saw the vines laying there withering and dying, their fruit going limp and beginning to shrivel.
How profound! Or, is it? Didn't Jesus use this analogy in John 15 (above)? You see, apart from Him we are just like the vines laying there withering and dying with our fruit beginning to shrivel.
Have you ever tried to break beans that have been on a dying vine? They're rubbery and they just don't want to snap. Instead, they just bend and lay limp in your hand.
As Christians, we need to keep our "snap"! We need to be able to resist the enemy and cling to that which is good. When we become like the fruit of the dying vine, we lose our resistance to the enemy's schemes to wreak havoc in our lives. We'll follow him anywhere because we've lost our edge of resistance. We become like putty in his hands, all because we've become detached from the Vine.
Are you attached to the Vine? Or, have you become uprooted or broken off, still trying to look like you're attached but, in reality, your fruit has become limp and you've lost your ability to resist the schemes of the enemy?
Let's check our attachment to the Vine daily. Thankfully, we can quickly reattach to Jesus Christ, unlike the vines in our garden -- once they've detached, they're done and there's no hope. We have hope! We have the ability to repent -- to turn around and reattach to our Vine and once again grow healthy and strong and bear much fruit for the glory of God!
Well, there's the door ... Ron just left to check his vines. But, he already checked his attachment to the Vine, Jesus Christ, first thing this morning. He's now ready to survey and reap the harvest in the back yard!
God bless ...
(c) Jan Ross 2007
Jan Ross, President and Co-Founder of Heart of God International Ministries, is a passionate and outspoken defender of the Word of Truth and the Great Commission. http://heartofgodinternational.com. For more devotional material by Jan, please take a moment to visit www.hgdevotions.com.
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