“God, forsaken of God”

agony-in-the-garden-1-1024x768When we read of Jesus’ agony and prayer in the garden—the start of his passion (as Dr. Pettit points out in his message)—and then read of all the agony, sheer torture, grief, mocking, pain and everything else He suffered, I realize that only a god THE GOD of all gods could carry such a burden for each and every human who has ever lived or will ever live! Hallelujah! What a Savior! Is there any other god who sacrificed himself for his followers? Is there any other book which was written by the finger of God? Why would anyone follow any false religion?

So, the next time someone asks you, “Why would a loving God let so much hurt happen in this world?” Your answer could be the question, “Why would a loving God sacrifice His OWN SON, turning His back on Him in the midst of His greatest suffering (something He will NEVER do to any of His people) for me and you?”

Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:
nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. Luke 22:42

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly:
and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luke 22:44

For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me:
they pierced my hands and my feet. Psalm 22:16

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,
Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?
that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Mt 27:46

Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  Isaiah 53: 4-6

 

PASSOVER/LAST SUPPER

Well, sorry I’m so late posting this, It has been a great challenge to keep up with this 40-day challenge! I hope you are doing better than I am!!

April 4—Matt. 26:17-20 Preparation for the Passover

 We have here an account of Christ’s keeping the Passover. Being made under the law, he submitted to all the ordinances of it, and to this among the rest; it was kept in remembrance of Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt, the birth-day of that people; it was a tradition of the Jews, that in the days of the Messiah they should be redeemed on the very day of their coming out of Egypt; and it was exactly fulfilled, for Christ died the day after the passover, in which day they began their march. MHenry

There was no question that they would keep the Passover, even though the Jewish rulers were out to kill Jesus. Keeping the Passover came as naturally as breathing to them.

APPLICATION: We can so easily fall into the trap of ritualism.  May it not be so in my heart.  Lord, make every Lord’s Supper as fresh as the day we’ll eat at Your table!

April 5—Luke.22:24-30; John 13:1-17 Strife Among Disciples

What caused the strife:

  • Pride
  • Greed for power
  • Greed for prestige
  • Jealousy (Matt. 20:21—mother of Zebedee’s sons)

Look at the blessings Jesus’ promises!

  • An appointed kingdom
  • Eating and drinking at Jesus’ table in his kingdom
  • Sitting and judging

APPLICATION: Lord, help me to be a servant and to walk by faith in this day, not jumping the gun for heaven’s joys!

John 13: 1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Here’s what I saw about Jesus from this passage:

  • Love v. 1
  • Betrayal v. 2
  • Omniscience v. 3
  • Servanthood v. 4,5
  • Patience v. 6-10 (He is so patient in teaching Peter! It is not here that he says, “how long shall I be with you? Matt. 17:17 but at their unbelief.)
  • Omniscience v 10,11
  • Teacher/Example v. 12-17

APPLICATION: Go and do likewise!

April 6—John 13:21-30 Traitor Revealed

So sad. Why Judas? Why not one of the others? I believe Judas gave into the temptations that Satan had been whispering in his ear for some time. Peter was disillusioned about the kingdom and King Jesus to the point of cutting of Malcaus’ ear. He denied that he knew Jesus, but soon repented with tears. (2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.)

Jesus knew Judas’ heart from the start. I wonder if He worked hard to win Judas over. Surely, the priests didn’t need Judas.  They would have found a way to crucify Jesus.

APPLICATION: We all have choices to make. Some take us further from Christ and put us on dangerous ground!  We think that we’re invincible, but we’re weak as kittens in the face of our Enemy! Only Jesus saves! Only a broken, contrite (sorry, remorseful, repentant, regretful, apologetic, penitent, ashamed) heart chooses correctly. (Ps 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.)

April 8—Matt.26:26-29 The Lord’s Supper

This ordinance of the Lord’s supper is to us the Passover supper, by which we commemorate a much greater deliverance than that of Israel out of Egypt. Take, eat; accept of Christ as he is offered to you; receive the atonement, approve of it, submit to his grace and his government. Meat looked upon, be the dish ever so well garnished, will not nourish; IT MUST BE FED UPON: so must the doctrine of Christ. This is my body; that is, spiritually, it signifies and represents his body. We partake of the sun, not by having the sun put into our hands, but the beams of it darted down upon us; so we partake of Christ by partaking of his grace, and the blessed fruits of the breaking of his body. The blood of Christ is signified and represented by the wine. He gave thanks, to teach us to look to God in every part of the ordinance. This cup he gave to the disciples with a command, Drink ye all of it. The pardon of sin is that great blessing which is, in the Lord’s supper, conferred on all true believers; it is the foundation of all other blessings. He takes leave of such communion; and assures them of a happy meeting again at last; “Until that day when I drink it new with you”, may be understood of the joys and glories of the future state, which the saints shall partake with the Lord Jesus. That will be the kingdom of his Father; the wine of consolation will there be always new. While we look at the outward signs of Christ’s body broken and his blood shed for the remission of our sins, let us recollect that the feast cost him as much as though he had literally given his flesh to be eaten and his blood for us to drink. M Henry

APPLICATION: Thanksgiving for God’s Amazing Grace—Jesus, the eternal One, paid the price of my eternal punishment. The agony of those but few moments, in light of eternity, suffered by the Perfect Sinless Lamb of God was the substitute which would have taken me all of eternity to pay. (2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.)

APPLICATION: Hallelujah! What a Savior!

April 9—John 15:1-11 Jesus’ Parting Words

This week I started a devotion which basically taught that Jesus “closed the book on vengeance.” No one should like to dwell on the vengeful side of our Heavenly Father or wield His wrath like a heavenly baseball bat BUT God’s vengeance IS part of His holy character—His holiness demands it.

So, as I look at this wonderful passage, which is part of Jesus’ last words to His disciples (and us!), I’m looking for attributes and actions of God in the life of a believer and unbeliever.

1 ¶ I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.   GOD IS MY LIFE-GIVER/CARETAKER
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: GOD PRUNES (OUCH!)
and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. HE KNOWS BEST!
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. GOD CLEANSES ME THROUGH HIS WORD.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. GOD DRAWS US TO HIMSELF—WE MUST BE CLOSE/CONNECTED TO BEAR FRUIT
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. GOD OF STRENGTH
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. GOD OF VENGANCE!
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. GOD, THE GIVER OF ALL GOOD THINGS.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. GOD LOVES!
9 ¶ As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. GOD LOVES!
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. GOD PROVIDES THE WAY FOR ME TO ABIDE IN HIM: HIS WORD.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. GOD GIVES FULL JOY!!

APPLICATION: Don’t lose sight of ALL God’s amazing characteristics. I can’t pick and choose what I want to believe about God!

April 10—Luke 22:39-46 (oops! –48) The Betrayal

Betrayed with a kiss. It always cuts me to the quick when I read that. (FYI: I didn’t know this until we had a dog, but when clipping a dog’s claws you have to be careful not to clip the quick, because that is where the nerves and blood vessels are!)

This passage is so full of information other than just the betrayal. Is it just Judas that betrayed Jesus here? Did He feel somewhat betrayed when He found the disciples sleeping? But a kiss—the most intimate show of public affection!

APPLICATION: Am I true to Jesus no matter who is watching?

WEEK FOUR: Miracles of Jesus’ Last Month

Here is the entire week of devotions:

March 28—John 11:1-46 Raising Lazarus

Spiritual vs. Physical Perspective

This miracle shouts the two perspectives all over the place.  Here are just a few:

Situation:   Physical/Spiritual

  1. Lazarus’s sickness: Sisters and disciples want him healed/Jesus allows him to die to bring glory to His Father
  2. Walking in the light: the disciples speak of the Jews’ threat of stoning and Jesus responds about walking in the daylight. I don’t think He is speaking literally!
  3. Jew’s seek to kill Jesus: Thomas is ready to die with him (probably not!)/Jesus knows His time.
  4. Resurrection: How could Martha know that Jesus spoke of his resurrection?  She couldn’t but I love her faith!
  5. Mary’s words to Jesus: She literally rebukes Jesus; interesting that He does not answer her, but weeps with them!
  6. Martha’s practical side: Lazarus will stink by now! Jesus knew!!!!

It is truly amazing that the chief priest and Pharisees still are plotting against Him!  I hope this doesn’t sound skewed but that should encourage us as believers when the whole world seems to turn their backs on God, missing all that He has done!

APPLICATION: Praise God for His amazing power and love! Jesus wept while on this earth; He wept here and over Jerusalem. Oh, to have HIS heart for this world!

March 30—Luke 18:35-43 The Two Blind Men

Oh my!  What a contrast from yesterday!  This man (Matt. 20:29 says two blind men; Mark 10:46 names him as Bartemaus) is crying out to Jesus so much so that the disciples rebuke him. Mark 10: 32 sheds some light on the atmosphere as they left headed to Jerusalem. “they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him.”

It’s a somber group. Jesus has His face set, knowing what He would face there. It seems as though He doesn’t hear or notice the blind man, but then He stops and has him brought to Him.  Here, He questions him: what does he want Him to do? It seems odd. He’s a blind man. Why does He ask? He already knows. Here, Jesus mentions that is it the man’s faith that healed him.

APPLICATION: I trust the Bible. Some may say the Bible is inaccurate because of the differences in the Gospel’s account, but that does not concern me. Different men from different perspectives, lots of people, lots of confusion—one truth: a man received his sight that day!

March 29—Luke 13:10-17 The Woman Healed of Infirmity

It would be an interesting study to compare the different conversations between Jesus and those He healed: did they approach Him or did He approach them, etc.? Here, this woman does not ask to be healed; in fact, she never says a word until she is healed. Then she glorifies God, looking up for the first time in eighteen years! Jesus has her brought to Him. Does He question her faith? No. Does he know what is in her heart? Absolutely!

Of course, it’s the Sabbath. Once again, Jesus is trying to get the people’s attention, especially the religious leaders. He rebukes them by reminding them of an Old Testament law which says that it was lawful to loose an animal and lead it to water, but they criticized Him for setting this daughter of Abraham free from Satan’s bondage. Praise the Lord that they recognized their fault and were ashamed AND “all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.”

APPLICATION: Jesus knows my heart. He sees inside and out! He knows my needs more than I do and I don’t even need to speak them for Him to answer! Wow! What an amazing God and Savior we serve!

April 1—Mark 11:12-14, 20-21 Cursing the Fig Tree

Just a simple fig tree not bearing fruit! Jesus was hungry and hoped to have a bite to eat from this tree, but He only finds leaves! He curses the tree and when the disciples pass by later, the tree is withered—“ dried up from the roots (v. 20).” There are certainly many lessons concerning fruitlessness here, but His main point is faith—faith strong enough to move mountains!

“Have faith in God,” is Jesus’ answer to Peter’s astonishment. Jesus has raised people from the dead, fed thousands with next to nothing, calmed the seas and performed countless healings. What is it to Jesus to curse a tree!

The statement “dried up from the roots” reminds me of the Temple veil which was ripped from the top to the bottom (Matt 27:51)! God is in control. This tree was not struck by lightning, Jesus cursed it and it died!

APPLICATION: Why do I worry? Psalm 50:10 “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.”  With Christ in my vessel I can smile as the storm as we go sailing home!

April 3—Matt. 27:51-53 Graves Opened

Wow! The graves may have been opened because of the earthquake but certainly earthquakes do not cause the dead to live!

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Matthew 27: 50  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

The sequence of events following Jesus’ last words:

  1. The veil is rent—the way was immediately made open for all (This veil was a most elaborately woven fabric of seventy-two twisted plaits of twenty-four threads each and the veil was sixty feet long and thirty wide. The rending of the veil signified the removal of the separation between God and the people. Robertson)
  2. Earthquake—God shakes the very core of the earth!
  3. The graves opened/rocks broken—physical barriers removed
  4. Dead arise—The work was finished!
  5. Centurion’s declaration—the start of the Gospel word spoken!

God is not bound by religion, physical barriers, or even death to accomplish His purpose!

APPLICATION: Praise Him! Praise Him, all ye little children!

April 2—Luke 22:50-51 Malchus’ Ear

In verse 36, it seems as though Jesus is telling them to buy a sword, and yet by verse 50 Peter is rebuked for using it. Once again the answer comes with the spiritual meaning. Verse 36—be ready to defend the truth.  Peter was not defending the truth, he was pushing his own agenda—making Jesus King of the kingdom!

APPLICATION: Thankfully, Jesus is there fixing the problem! Amazing! Oh, if only a miracle could have fixed some of my mistakes and made them disappear! But with each mistake comes a lesson that I need to learn!

 

March 26

backlit cemetery christianity clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

—Isaiah. 53:4,5/Matt. 8:16,17 Suffering Vicariously (Our Delegated Substitute!)

Isaiah 53: 3,4

  • He is despised (hated, reviled, loathed, shunned, scorned, derided [antonym is beloved: how heartbreaking that the beloved Son of God bore all this FOR ME!])
  • and rejected (disallowed, forbidden, banned, excluded, vetoed, prohibited) of men;
  • a man of sorrows (distresses, troubles, burdens, disappointments),
  • and acquainted with grief (sorrow, heartache, anguish, pain, misery, unhappiness, woe [antonym is joy: how ironic, that the joy of the Lord gives me strength! Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.]):
  • and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
  • Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:
  • yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

The NT reference, which speaks of Jesus’ healing the sick, refers back to Isaiah, but I think more of His “vicarious sufferings” on the cross. Yes, He suffered physical pain more than I can imagine, but the fact the He was also bearing the sins of the world is beyond human comprehension. When I think of my darkest days—those times when I was guilty of some sin and yet not willing to confess or forsake it—I think of the agony of heart: the guilty and misery in my soul! That is just a microcosm of what Jesus bore on the cross! He bore it ALL!

APPLICATION: Stop sinning! Oh, wouldn’t that be wonderful?! I can never be fully “sin-free” or sin less, but as the play on words tells us: I can’t be sinless but I can sin less! PTL!

And then be grateful for God’s forgiving power! It cost SO much, but it is FREE to all who will yield to His perfect way!

March 25

—Isaiah 53:7/Matt. 26:62, 63 Silent When Accused

agriculture animals baby blur
Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com

 Isaiah 53: 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

Matt. 26:62-65 (NKJV)

And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?”

But Jesus kept silent.

And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!

Jesus was not going to answer the high priest and, in fact, does not answer him until the religious leader makes it an oath to God. Even then the high priest does not believe Him!

APPLICATION: Know when to speak and when to keep silent. Some questions need no comment. This is a lesson I STILL have not learned! Also, know that this world will not accept me or God’s Word unless the heart is ready to do so.  Some folks will never choose Christ! How sad!

March 23

download.pngYea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. Psalm 41:9

And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. Mark 14:10

And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. Luke 22:47

Even though this lesson is focusing on the prophecies, the substance of the scripture stops me in my tracks.  Have you ever been betrayed by someone you loved dearly? I suppose we all have. It’s such a hurtful thing. Our hearts are grieved in places where nothing else can touch. Heartsick.

Oh, how thankful I am that my closest Friend will NEVER betray me! That thought alone can salve the wound of loving betrayal.

APPLICATION: Father, may I never be the cause of such grief to Your heart!

March 18

—Matt.25:1-13 Parable of the Ten Virgins

Obviously, this parable is about the return of Christ. There are several thoughts about which return it is referring too, but I’m just going to focus on the lesson for me! J

Jesus IS coming back. If He came today, would I be ready? Am I a wise or foolish follower? What does that even look like—to be a wise follower of Jesus?

The wise virgins were ready because:

  1. They had their lamps
  2. They had enough oil

They ALL fell asleep and had to trim their lamps, but the difference is that the wise virgins had enough oil to keep burning for the bridegroom’s arrival. For me, that really speaks of being prepared to meet my Master at any time by keeping my eye on the eternal.

What if Jesus came today? How would I feel? Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the daily grind that we forget the Master.

APPLICATION: Keep looking up! 🙂

March 21–Week 3: PROPHECIES CONCERNING JESUS’ DEATH

PalmSunday-58e280f35f9b58ef7e94e120Zech. 9:9/John 12:13, 14 Triumphal Entry

Some may scoff and say that Jesus staged the whole thing, but the amazing prophecy actually begins in Matthew 21:2 where Jesus tells His disciples, “Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.”

Fulfilled prophecies strengthen our faith because only an all-knowing, all-powerful God could know the future and have them occur exactly when he plans.

APPLICATION: Praise God for His amazing strength, knowledge, compassion, and plan for my life!

March 15

man riding boxer motorcycle on road
Photo by Pete Johnson on Pexels.com

—Matt.21:33-41 The Parable of the Vineyard

Characters in this parable:

  1. Householder/landowner—he planted the vineyard, put a wall around it, and dug a winepress and tower
  2. Husbandmen/vine-growers—the householder rented it to them
  3. Servants/slaves—householder sends HIS servants to the vineyard that THEY might receive the fruit
    1. Husbandmen took the servants and beat, killed, stoned them

(This action repeated several times)

  1. Son—sent by the householder

Spiritual application:

  1. Husbandmen kill him God is planting His Word into His people
  2. Pastors (Jewish culture: chief priests) are caring for His “vineyard”
  3. Pastors? As well?
  4. Jesus—sent by His Father in heaven.

Not sure who the husbandmen would parallel today. A church hierarchy where corruption is taking place or perhaps just a pastor and staff?

Jesus asks what the householder should do.

Their response: Householder should destroy the husbandmen and let out the vineyard to others which will pay the husband his due.

THEY KNEW THAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT THEM!!! And sought to seize him BUT feared the people!

It’s always helpful to look before and after a passage to gather more context. We just looked at the Parable of the Two Sons which basically teaches obedience to the Father. Tomorrow, we will look at Matthew 22, which opens with the parable of the king who is preparing a wedding banquet for his son. Friends, who were invited, make excuses why they couldn’t attend.

Does that shed any light on today’s parable? What is a parable anyway? Simply put, a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus is constantly using physical examples to teach Gospel truths. So, today’s parable…

APPLICATION for me: Keep in the middle of the road.

I hear them angels calling loud:
Keep in the middle of the road,
They’s awaitin’ there in a great big crowd,
Keep in the middle of the road.
I see them stand ’round the big white gate,
We must travel along for we get too late,
For it ain’t no use for to sit down and wait
Right in the middle of the road

Refrain:

Then, children, keep in the middle of the road
Children, keep in the middle of the road
Don’t you look to the right, don’t you look to the left!
But keep in the middle of the road.

I ain’t got time for to stop and talk
(Keep in the middle of the road)
‘Cause the road am rough and it’s hard for to walk,
(Keep in the middle of the road)
I’ll fix my eye on the golden stair,
And I’ll keep on a-going till I get there
‘Cause my head am bound for the crown to wear
Keep in the middle of the road.

Come and join our weary band
(Keep in the middle of the road)
Cause we’re bound for home in the happy land
(Keep in the middle of the road)
Turn your back on this world of sin
Just knock at the door, and they’ll let you in
Cause you’ll never gonna get such a chance again
Keep in the middle of the road.

This world am full of sinful things,
Then keep in the middle of the road, oh yeah!
When your feet get tired, just put on them wings,
Keep in the middle of the road.

If you lay down in the road and die,
You can watch them angels in the sky,
You can put on wings and get up and fly,
Keep in the middle of the road.

` African Spiritual

 

Now, why would I say that? Well, the husbandmen lost sight of the goal: they were working for the King! They got greedy and wanted all the glory which was due the householder.

Ministry is not easy. Being a born-again believer who is sold out for God is not easy in any generation, and if we’re not careful, we’ll look to the right and get too caught up in some theological, denominational, or standard issue or more concerned about numbers or our reputation, which draws us away from the real goal—serving the King.  And if we’re not careful, we’ll look to the left and get all caught up in the trinkets and baubles that the world dangles in front of our noses at every turn and we’ll fall in that ditch and forget—we’re here to serve the King!

My husband and I have watched several TV shows lately that are centered around the White House. We often hear this statement: I serve at the pleasure of the President. I’m so glad I serve that the pleasure of the King of Kings! I’ll never fall in the ditch if I keep my eyes on Him!

March 13

green round fruit
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

–John 15:1

Jesus is the true vine and his Father is the husbandman, vinedresser. The TRUE vine—this makes me think of different vines I’ve run into in my gardening.  Our son and his wife bought a house in South Carolina several years ago and it must have been owned by a gardener at one time. There are seven gardens and tons of flowering trees, but much of it was taken over by vines of different sorts.  Thankfully, there were no kudzu vines! If you’ve never lived in the south you may not be familiar with this rascal!  A kudzu vine will take over everything and is next to impossible to get rid of!

In the north, we have another nasty vine called poison ivy.  As a child, we had poison ivy on the front hill of our property but my mom really worked at keeping it under control. (Don’t ever burn it and stand in the smoke! You will be covered with poison!) When we bought our first home we also had poison ivy, but I didn’t recognize it because it was this hairy looking branch that had connected itself to the trees. The tiny reddish leaves that I was used to seeing were twelve to fifteen feet up the tree!

Bad, or untrue vines. They are out to destroy! Jesus is the true vine and His purposes are always good! He will gladly graft on any branch that believes in Him and then pours Himself into it, nourishing it and strengthening it to produce fruit for His glory.

And then there’s the vinedresser or husbandman—the gardener who really knows how to care for the vine and all His branches. In fact, the Vinedresser willingly cut the vine down knowing that It would revive and be able to nourish the branches in a way that had not been possible before!

Application: Oh, I want to be a good branch! How I want to grow and bring forth fruit, trusting the Father to cut and prune and slash as He sees fit so that I can produce more fruit—much fruit—for His glory!!! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Wanda MacAvoy

%d bloggers like this: