April 19, 2010

The vine and the branches

1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 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. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.

All i need to be is a good tree. In this time of testing i realize that so often when we are not at an emotional equilibrium and we aren't feeling all warm and fuzzy when we are trying to connect with God we blame the devil when sometimes God is just pruning. When you see a tree that has just been pruned it looks ugly, but once everything grows back it is beautiful and healthy and bears good fruit or flowers. God does this for us because he loves us! Not because he wants to inflict pain on us and not because he is not close. When in this season it will likely be uncomfortable and sometimes it will hurt. its like when a silversmith is refining silver, he puts the silver in the furnace and all the dross rises to the surface and he skims it away until he can see his reflection in it. So to does God do that for us. He brings all our stuff to the surface, all the ugly stuff, the sin and hurt and pain and he skims it off so he can see his reflection in us. I love that God loves me enough to do that for me.

Today i am grateful for this season and grateful for this revelation. My Daddy really loves me, he loves me enough to teach me and discipline me. He knows that when he does that i grow.

Thankful heart, please stay


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