Daily Devotional – 5/8/17 “Are your branches bare?”

Where is your fruit? Fruit as in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Are you producing these things or is your branch bare? I’m only asking because as I was reading yesterday, a passage stood out to me. A parable Jesus told in Luke 13: 6-9 that says, “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’” This passage made me think of how God must feel every time He looks at us and we aren’t producing anything worthy of Him, who we’ve been planted in. Yet He says, I’ll give her more time, I’ll give him special attention and fertilize their roots again. I’ll make sure they are in the right place to get a little more SON, I’ll ensure they aren’t crowded with other non-growing branches, I’ll prune away the dead stuff and I’ll give them what they need. Year after year, He should cut us off but instead He says, I’ll give them another year. Day after day, He sees our bare branches and He still says, I’ll give them another day.

Even when we bear fruit and it’s rotten, He says, I’ll give him more time. Why? Because Jesus says in John 15:1, “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.” When our fruit stinks, God says, I’ll give her a special treatment.” Why? Because Jesus says in John 15:3, “You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.” Even when our branches need to be pruned, God says, “I’ll nurse it back to health.” Why? Because Jesus says in John 15:4, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” Even when we deserved to be cut off, God keeps us because Jesus tells us in John 15:5, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” So I ask you today, what fruit are you bearing, where are you bearing it and is it worthy of being picked?

Dear God,
Thank you for not cutting us off. Thank you for keeping us even when the fruit we bear isn’t worthy of being attached to you. Today, God, I will strive to be a better fruit bearer.

Daily Devotional – 9/29/14 “You are just the branch!”

Sitting, staring at the computer trying to figure out what to write about but my mind and body is tired because lately I’ve been having such vivid dreams and although it’s hard to put into words, I know it’s God speaking to me yet I’m still trying to figure out what all of this means on this spiritual journey. During one of those moments this morning, prayer was the word that was dropped into my spirit and I thought about sharing that as a devotional topic but as Christians, you know that you ought to pray; don’t you? You know that you should pray for yourself for 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land, shouldn’t you?” Then I was challenged again on Facebook to share my favorite bible scripture and for those of you who know a little about me, then you know the one I’ve share above is my favorite but I thought I’d share another one that leapt out to me this morning from John 15:7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” See, in John 15:1, Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” How does this go along with prayer? Easy because the scripture says ask whatever you wish and it will be done. And how do you ask …through prayer.

Jesus goes on to say in the next verses (This is me putting it another way); My Father, cuts off the branches of the vines that bears no fruits because they mean no good to the vine and are dead weight yet He prunes those who bear good fruit in order for them to continue to bear good fruit. Please understand what I mean here when I say bearing fruit, I mean sharing God’s word. Not just any word but God’s word that is actually digestible for other folk to be able to eat it and understand it. As Christian’s it is our duty to be able to share God’s word with other folk thus being able to bear good fruit and as Christians we are branches connected to the true vine, Jesus, who is connected to the gardener God which means we should all be bearing good fruit. If we aren’t then we may be doing it for the wrong vine. I’m simply stating the facts. If you call yourself a Christian, other Christians and folk who aren’t believers should be able to eat fruit from your branch, good fruit. They should be able to get a word, a scripture, a prayer or a word of encouragement from you every once in a while, that is edible. This is why Jesus says you’ve got to remain in me and as long as you do, I’ll remain in you because you can’t bear fruit without me when you are just the branch. Did you catch that? You are just the branch, Jesus is the vine and without the vine you are nothing! John 15:6 says, “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” You have what it takes to bear good fruit but you’ve got to be connected to the right vine. So when you do it for the vine, make sure you’re doing it for the right vine so that whatever you ask, it will be done. Connect to the true vine, pray and it will be done.

**Whoever you are that thinks God isn’t listening to you, He is but you’ve got to reconnect yourself to the vine in order to get the nutrients you need to bloom again. He hasn’t left you; He’s simply waiting on you.