Reforesting Faith … A Review

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
Isaiah 55:12

Have you noticed how many references there are to trees in the Bible? The Tree of Life begins and ends the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, we walk under trees, sit under them, and enjoy their shade, their fruits, and their beauty.

Continue reading Reforesting Faith … A Review

Are you abiding in Jesus?

Grapes - prosecco

I [Jesus] am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing … If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:1-11

When we gave our lives to Jesus, we became one with Jesus. We were cut from the wild vine and grafted into the true vine, Jesus. True nourishment flowed into our branches, and people began to see a difference in our lives like sweet clusters of grapes.

We still had a bit of wildness in our branches, and the Father cut the wild parts out. Sometimes, it was painful … old habits, friends, possessions. Once those wild parts were pruned, more changes, more opportunities to serve the Lord occurred … more fruit.

The key: abiding in the true vine even during the pruning. Abiding, menō, can mean “remaining,” “waiting for,” or “remaing as one.”

Jesus tells us how to abide in Him

  • His Words must be deep within us. They are the nourishment that brings “much fruit.” If His Word is planted deep within us, we will ask according to His will, and we will receive our wishes, so that we can bear much fruit.
  • His love will dwell in us if we keep His commandments.

The promise

If we abide in Jesus, His joy will dwell in us, and it will be full.

Please share with us how Jesus has filled you with joy today.

My prayer

Father, thank You for cutting us from the wild vine and grafting us into the true vine. It hurts when You prune us, but oh, how we love the sweet fruit it produces! Thank You for the words of Jesus. Teach us how to meditate upon these Words of Life day and night. Empower us to abide in Jesus and His love. Thank You for supplying all we need to produce fruit as we rest in Jesus.

This was a meditation spurred from Chapter 3 of the Your Sacred Yes workbook by Susie Larson. You can download the free workbook at her site.

3 principles I’ve learned from my roses about my walk with Jesus

rose unpruned 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:2

I have 36 rose bushes. Roses are beautiful, and they take work. From spring to late fall, I’m pruning, feeding, and talking to my roses. My floribunda roses take more meticulous time; they grow in clusters. This bush develops three buds together. The middle bud always blooms first. Once it begins to wilt, the two on either side bloom. If I leave the middle dying rose, it ruins the bouquet, and attention is drawn to the dead bloom.

rose unprunedMore importantly, if I were to neglect cutting out the dead flowers, my rose bush would quit producing blooms.

Isn’t that the way our Christian walk is? We walk along praising the Lord and doing work for His kingdom. If we’re not careful, our praise turns to grumbling, and our works turn to frustration.

From over a decade of loving, feeding, and pruning my roses, I’ve learned three things that are also essential to my Christian walk.

  1. Loving. Roses take a lot of time. If I did not like spending time with my roses, I would not have them. That’s the way it is with my relationship to Jesus. I need to spend time with Him … quality time. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4
  2. Feeding. Roses need to be fertilized regularly. I need to spend time in the Word of God, praying, and listening as the Holy  Spirit feeds my spirit and guides my walk. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.Psalm 119:105
  3. Pruning. Roses spill out their fragrance, color, and beauty for all to enjoy. Slowly, the petals wilt, turn brown, and fall off, leaving only the base of the bud. If the deadness is not cut out, the bush will not to continue to produce flowers. As I walk with the Lord, fruit will develop for others to enjoy. Jesus prunes the branches of my life that are producing fruit, and cuts off the branches that don’t produce fruit. Sometimes, I feel pain because of the pruning and need to ask for forgiveness for straying. “bear fruit in keeping with repentance;” Matthew 3:8

rose prunedThe promise?

A focus on beauty, on fragrance, on the fresh blossoms and fruit.

“For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:19

My prayer for you

Father of all that is beautiful, may we walk with You in holiness. Quicken our spirits to recognize how You are loving us, feeding us, and pruning us. Enable us to see You at work in us and yield to your sanctification. Empower us to be a fragrance to You and all who come into our paths.

What are you learning from your walk with Jesus?