Discern what is sown for the Lord. Have faith in God’s promises and know that in time, good soil not only bears good fruit, it bears fruit abundantly and with purpose.
I am the Lord. If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full… I will look with favor upon you and make you fruitful and multiply you; and I will maintain my covenant with you. You shall eat old grain long stored, and you shall have to clear out the old to make way for the new. I will place my dwelling in your midst, and I shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the Lord your God … Leviticus 26:1-20
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They do not serve your gods and they do not worship the golden statue that you have set up. …if you do not worship, …who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands? Daniel 3:1-18 Material people, material things – with Nebuchadnezzar, this was about control. Daniel has just told the king what God revealed to him as to the contents of the kings dream and then interprets the dream. The king doesn’t seem to realize that the God who reveals his plan in the dream is the same God who reveals the dream to David. Nebuchadnezzar never considers that this God is greater than the king himself. Why build a statue? The statue has no life and therefore, no power, no authority and no purpose. Aside from the fact that bowing to an inanimate object violated their Law, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t even bother to defend their defiance of the king’s decree. Even today it doesn’t make any sense! God has planted us in the midst of the world to bear good fruit as leaders in our faith. We don’t have to defend our walk in Christ because the living God we serve, who has placed us where we are, still today – even in our own uncertainty – defends his own. Alleluia! The Lord is Risen Indeed.
If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, he will deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king. Daniel 3:1-18
I came across a horticultural website designed to be a resource for individuals wanting to grow grapevines. Since it was in the form of question and answer I easily discovered some very interesting facts about grapevines. For example, grapevines are rather hearty; some varieties almost to the extent of being stubborn in that cutting them back to the root doesn’t necessarily prevent them from producing fruit. In fact deliberate pruning strengthens their ability to grow. In addition, those varieties which have a tendency to serpentine its roots across the surface of the soil, can develop nodes from which one or more leaves emerge that can be subsequently removed from the mother root and replanted to create another fruit bearing vine. This of course brought to mind the extended metaphor of the “True Vine” in John 15. In life, no one really wants to be pruned particularly when the fruit that we bear is so plentiful. We sometimes forget that only good fruit bears good fruit even as it is deployed away from its original root. As for the bad fruit, well what else can be said except let the pruning begin – that we may enjoy God’s Kingdom in the way he always intended, by extension of the “true” root and bearing fruit simply on the heartiness and strength of his vine.
John 15:1-2, 5 ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit…