“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He 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.” John 15:1-2
When my husband Felton and I purchased our house seven years ago there was a small tree planted in the front yard. Unfortunately, we were busy trying to get settled that we did not notice for a while it had not grown. My husband pulled up the dead tree with no effort because it was not deeply planted to catch root. Hence, the tree was not getting nutrients to grow and thrive. Perhaps, sometimes we get too busy to deeply plant our mind in the Word of God to be deeply rooted for growth, and to thrive in biblical knowledge, wisdom, understanding and obedience; biblical nutrients for Christians.
We purchased another tree that was deeply planted by Felton and soon afterwards grew and birthed beautiful pink blossoms. However, I took it upon myself to prune the tree by removing what I presumed were dead limbs despite my lack of knowledge to care for it. Shortly afterwards the tree stopped growing and blooming. We can sometimes make the mistake thinking we can prune God’s Word into what we feel is right based on our personal beliefs, opinions and thoughts. God never asked nor will He ever consider our thoughts as eloquently stated in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Felton is a very wise man who always fact-check everything he is told rather secular or spiritual. He is definitely like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 who searched [verified] what was being said was true. He wanted to know everything possible about caring for our new tree so he downloaded an app that identifies trees and provides instructions to care for them. During a conversation about the tree’s lack of growth, he stated instructions for this particular tree should not be pruned. Oooops! I had to tell him about me breaking off weak and dead limbs. Did the tree really need pruning or was it going through its own natural process? Nevertheless, as seen in photos, we did not remove the tree despite its bad appearance and failure to grow.
We Christians sometimes fail to properly care for the temple of the Holy Spirit as noted in Hosea 4:6, “My people perish from lack of knowledge?” Knowledge, wisdom, understanding and obedience must thrive in our life to secure the salvation of our soul.
Ephesians 4:22-24 states “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” As the temple of the Holy Spirit we must be alive for Christ and over shadow evil by exhaling works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21; and inhaling the fruit of the Spirit. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24)
Unbelievably and excited we noticed new life growing from the same hole as the dead tree. At first we thought it were weeds growing. However, it was growing fast and producing beautiful shiny healthy leaves. Felton opened his phone app and pointed it at the tree to discover a totally different type of tree from what we planted. It is a new life flourishing from the same hole of a dead life. Of course, I am forbidden from touching this new tree as we should forbid others from touching and jeopardizing our spiritual journey as we become a different type of person.
“Never respond to shade that comes from trees that don’t bare fruit.” — Bridgit L. Wilson
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose of which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
It is imperative to get rid of everything contrary to the commandments of God to grow and thrive in our new life in Christ. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27) The new tree below is overshadowing the old tree and symbolizes how our transformed life should overshadow our past sinful life.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creations have come. The old has gone, the new is here! (II Corinthians 5:17).
“Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s Temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” (I Corinthians 3:16-18)
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had not root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop-a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13:3-9)
“Take hold of My words with all your heart; keep My commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget My words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this; Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.” (Proverbs 4:8)
AWARD AND TAG NOMINATIONS
Thank you, Jyotsna Shenoy, for your kind nomination for the Outstanding Blogger Award. Visit Jyotsna at https://artpsychoblog.wordpress.com/
Thank you, James A. Best, Author, for the I Love My Job Tag. I actually do enjoy my job and teleworking. Visit James at https://myplace3187.wordpress.com/