The Vine and the Husbandman

I have a vine that has taken root in my flowerbed that is beyond a nuisance. It grows quickly, so quickly that it covered a rosemary bush in less than a week or two. Not only does it cover other plants, but it also wraps around it. Eventually, it begins to smother said plant. I have cut it and tried to pull it up by the roots, but it will not let loose of the ground and keeps coming back even after I cut it down. It is a bad vine with no fruit to show.

Sin gets in our life the same way. It takes root and tries to take over. When we fight it alone, if we fight it at all, we lose to its strength and pervasiveness. It grows faster than we can combat it. Just like I tried to fight the vine above, it keeps coming back. I’m not much of a match for this particular plant, but if I had a master gardener to help me who knew about how to kill weeds and promote good growth in other plants, then I might have a chance. In the same way, if we depend on our master gardener, our husbandman as it were, then we too can be victorious.

“15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:1-3)

When we let God, the Husbandman, cut out the weeds and the bad vines, then we as branches that are grafted into the True Vine (Jesus Christ) can flourish and produce fruit. He is the only one who can purge us of sin, once and for all. While we live on this earth, we will still have to combat sin, but it can never completely overtake us because the Husbandman is faithful to prune us so that we can remain fruitful. Sometimes the pruning is not fun, but it is necessary. God has to cut out the bad so that He can make room for what we need. He cuts back the weeds that would overwhelm us so that we can take nutrients from the sunlight. Then we can be thriving fruitful vines.

If you are in a pruning season, just remember that the Husbandman has our best interest at heart. We can trust Him to do what is best for us. Just remember that whatever He is cutting out is merely making room for something even better than we ever imagined. So, don’t lose heart because the best is yet to be.

Flowers or Fruit?

Have you ever bought something that looked good on the surface, but when you got it home and out of the box, it lacked substance? Have you ever ordered food that looked good, but it didn’t taste as good as it looked? Have you ever bought a book based on the cover only to find out the book was nothing like what the cover portrayed? I think everyone has been fooled by appearances at some point in their lives. That is why God is more concerned with our soul, what is coming from our hearts, than he is about how we look.

Society is impressed by a busy schedule. I had a boss or two who were more concerned that employees looked busy than they were by the actual outcome of the work. So, even though all of the work assigned to me was done quickly and efficiently, they seemed to think I was lazy if I wasn’t constantly busy. Productivity seemed to have no bearing on the situation.

As Christians, we are meant to produce fruit through our connection to the vine, Jesus Christ. In John 15 it says he is the vine and we are the branches. If we have a solid connection to the vine, it does all of the work to produce the fruit, such as the fruit of the Spirit. God, the husbandman, works with the vine to produce fruit, so if the branches get trapped in the dirt and mud, He will pick it up, clean it off, and bring it back out into the sunlight. He will also prune the branches when they produce too many flowers or greenery and limited fruit because His goal is fruit production, and flowers block the branches from receiving the vital nutrients they need from the sun.

You see sometimes we get so caught up in being busy for God that we do everything except produce fruit. Flowers and greenery may be pretty and look good to the world, but God isn’t interested in appearances. He is interested in producing fruit. He will cut back the greenery and flowers until He gets the vine back into the sun and back into its real purpose of producing fruit.

Take a moment to take stock of what you are producing. Are you producing flowers or fruit? Are you doing what the world thinks you should, or are you doing what God says you should? Flowers look good, but the fruit that comes from God sustains life. Which one are you: fruit or flower?

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