Friday, May 30, 2008

The Renewed Season

by Stephanie Neibarger

This Week’s Verse: John 15:1-5, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing."

Devotion:
I don’t know if I’m just becoming a nature freak or if this is just one tool that God is using to teach me things. Last year I noticed a rose bush that had a bunch of dead branches on it. I trimmed off all the dead branches leaving a skeleton of a bush.

This year, I noticed that same bush and it was big and beautiful with tons of rose pedals. I thought, hmm, there must be a devotion in there somewhere! I thought how God will sometimes cut or prune things out of our life. Initially things seem bad, but later we realize He did this to cause us to prosper.

His Word even states in John 15:1-2, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” Notice that it says even branches that do bear fruit are pruned so they can produce even more. So when things in your life are going great and God decides to prune you, know that He is doing so in order for you to produce more fruit.

Isaiah 55 teaches us that His ways are not our ways, His ways are higher than our ways. God also promises us in Jeremiah 29 that His plans for us will cause us to prosper, not harm us. So even when we deal with disappointments and things just aren’t going our way, we don’t have to get discouraged because we know that God has a better plan for us.

Father, thank you for always causing us to prosper. Thank for working for good in our lives. Help us to draw closer to You so we may know Your will and follow Your direction for our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

Application:
Has there been anything that He has cut out of your life that you just don’t understand? Rest assured that He is only doing it to cause you to increase in your life. Stay positive and God will bring things around for you.

Power Verses:
Isaiah 55:8-9, "My thoughts are completely different from yours,' says the Lord. 'And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.'" (NLT)
Philip. 1:6, "And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again." (NLT)
Hebrews 10:36, "You must be willing to wait without giving up. After you have done what God wants you to do, God will give you what He promised you." (NLB)
Romans 8:28, "And we know all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans." (LB)
Joshua 1:9, "I command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (NLT)
Jeremiah 29:11, "I will bless you with a future filled with hope – a future of success, not suffering." (CEV)

2 comments:

Kathy said...

Such a great reminder that even though the pruning season is tough, we can place our hope on the promise that it will bear fruit. Great devo.

M. Milbourn said...

Great devotion Steph, and great variety of translations!! I am particularly enthralled by Hebrews 10:36!