Jesus Christ told His disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit” (John 15:5). As we carry out the Lord’s plans through the power of His Spirit, our lives will have significance, and two practices will characterize us.
1. Treasuring God’s Word in our hearts. When we value something, we think about it often, study it regularly, and learn all we can about it. By studying the Bible, we learn many important things about our God, including His character, plan, and promises. Regular Scripture meditation develops our ability to think biblically and deepens our relationship with the Lord. One of the indications that we treasure His Word is a change in behavior: Decisions will increasingly be guided by His principles, and actions will reflect the fruit of the Spirit. (See Gal. 5:22-23.)
2. Adorning ourselves with kindness and truth. These two virtues are to be our constant companions on the Christian walk. God’s truth has the power to expose ungodly attitudes and behaviors. When this happens, the presence of kindness helps to protect relationships from damage; it can also prevent discord and division in churches. The Lord wants us to speak the truth to one another—but to temper it with loving compassion.
The Christian life is a journey filled with temptations, obstacles, and difficulties that are common to man (1 Peter 4:12). At the same time, it is to be characterized by the fruitfulness that comes from following Jesus Christ, our guide.
“A vineyard of wine, sing of it! I, the LORD, am its keeper; I water it every moment. So that no one will damage it, I guard it night and day…In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout, and they will fill the whole world with fruit.” – Isaiah 27:2-6 NASB
God described His people as a “vineyard” and “His delightful plant” (Isaiah 5:1-10). He wanted them to be fruitful, but their actions were keeping Him from blessing them. He hoped they would turn to Him, so He could bless them abundantly. They had been producing “worthless” grapes, but His desire was that they “produce good grapes.”
God described Himself as the “keeper” of His vineyard, guarding them and providing the water they needed. Even though they had fallen short, He promised that a day was coming when they would “blossom and sprout, and they will fill the whole world with fruit.”
Jesus provided similar imagery when He said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1-7). He is the source of all blessing and fruitfulness. He eliminates anything that prevents fruitfulness, and prunes every branch that does bear fruit “so that it may bear more fruit.”
The Bible makes it clear that God desires to bless us and make us fruitful in every part of our lives. He sent Jesus that we “may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). And He is “able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
Don’t let the devil rob you of this abundance. Don’t be crippled by doubt. Abide in Jesus, and let God’s Word change your life. Declare His promises to be true, and boldly stand on His Word.
Accept His discipline and correction, that you might become more fruitful. And Sow with the Seeds He has given you, knowing that you will Reap what you Sow (Galatians 6:7).
Streams In the Desert
By: L.B. Cowman
Blessed is he that waiteth (Dan. 12:12).
It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God’s warriors than standing still.
There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption?
No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of aid.
Wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him. Believe that if He keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet He will come at the right time; the vision shall come, and shall not tarry.
Wait in quiet patience. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses. Accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, “Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities; but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if Thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon Thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for Thee in full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.”
—Morning by Morning
Wait patiently wait,
God never is late;
Thy budding plans are in Thy Father’s holding,
And only wait His grand divine unfolding.
Then wait, wait,
Trust, hopefully trust,
That God will adjust
Thy tangled life; and from its dark concealings,
Will bring His will, in all its bright revealings.
Then trust, trust,
Rest, peacefully rest
On thy Saviour’s breast;
Breathe in His ear thy sacred high ambition,
And He will bring it forth in blest fruition.
Then rest, rest,
—Mercy A. Gladwin