Tuesday, July 10, 2007

07 10 07 Limits in Life
"I am the true vine and My Father is the gardener.
He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in Me.
He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit.”
(John 15:1-2)

In the Old Testament, Israel has been referred to as a vine. Christ has come to reveal Himself as the true vine and God the Father as the vine dresser, the gardener if you will. God owns the vineyard. Christ is head of the vine, the body of Christ, the church. He has come to prepare us by the Father’s will. Jesus reminds us that we as believers, the branches, must stay connected to the vine God has a right to prune those who are His own and we need to welcome the pruning, as we will in turn be more fruitful for Him!

So what does pruning look like? At times it is discipline. At times it is teaching. At times it is punishment. God sets boundaries and LIMITS IN LIFE. Thank Him for that! There are some things He will allow and other things God will never let come into our lives. He will totally wipe out some destroying activity, much like a weed and grass killer……killing root and all. Other times God will trim away little by little, pruning us for growth in the future. How we respond to the blade is paramount to our growth and the fruit we bear.

Unfortunately, many believers today are being totally uprooted by the Vinedresser and taken out of the garden completely due to the choices we make and the lack of self-control. We ignore God’s toiling in our soil, continue to grow wild, collecting weeds and cancer causing insects and disease, and become no use for fruit bearing. The Gardener has no choice but to pluck us out. We are damaging the garden too severely, perhaps encouraging too much wild growth among us!

Let me be real for a minute. The simple task of driving my son to school in the morning is becoming a real challenge. As I navigate through detours, red lights, and construction, I also must battle swerving sports cars, speeding SUV’s and other forms of out-of-control manned vehicles. Most of these drivers are adults in business suits and prestigious cars and trucks, not kids driving to the 7-11! I wonder, how can we teach our kids to follow simple guidelines at home if we as adults can do simple daily tasks like staying a designated lane, not tail-gating, and obeying the speed limit. Oh yea, we need LIMITS IN LIFE!

I wonder aloud at times what God thinks of me as I go through the day. How often do I sadden Him because I set such a bad example? How long will He be patient? How much grace is enough? When will I decide to really stay connected to the vine and follow the LIMITS IN LIFE He sets for me? I realize I will never be perfect, but I want to do the little things right. If I can’t be a Christian behind the wheel of my vehicle, how can I handle the wheel of my home, my marriage, my ministry? Simple things, but huge in perspective to kingdom life and fruit inspection! Oh DADDY, I invite you into my personal garden: weed, cut, prune and cause growth……cause fruit to grow and mature, to Your glory!

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