‘I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener. He cuts of 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.’
Christian journey can be lonely. Jesus had quite a number of those moments: he may have been heaven sick from time to time, spending days in the wilderness as opposed to streets of gold (the limitation of my human thoughts). This walk entails many sacrifices not to mention the ‘pruning’ we go through. The text above says pruning takes place to give room for growth. Sometimes we are forced to forsake entertainment that doesn’t glorify God, friends & relationships that constantly draw us away from God. Other times we fall so hard & low to get a clear perspective of the wrong turn we took. This is how we are encouraged:
‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light & momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18.
A lot about this journey is intentional. We won’t always feel like praying, reading the word and above all sharing it out of our comfort zones. Sometimes I shut out good entertainment to feed the spirit in me because once it’s starved my eyes open to the world around me, my focus shifts to what’s wrong & not what’s right; to how the future seems bleak & what people around me think. We’d rather spend lunch hours hanging out with friends & be on social media than assign a verse to read, meditate and pray on. Friday evenings are preferable for watching a good series & sleeping early to fellowshipping. Sundays consist of an hour or two of church service and that’s it. There’s so much about Christ we will never know in an hour or two of service. That’s why people fall for false preachers because all we know is what they tell us, we do not seek truth on our own. We miss out on the much God would have revealed to us while on this earth to enable us live a fulfilling life or we take years going round one lesson; a lot of energy spent & time wasted.
Remain 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’. John 15: 1-4
There are two versions of Christians today & by their fruits you will recognize them. Mathew 7: 16.
|Reformed Christian||Transformed Christian|
|Reform: Make changes to improve ‘status’||Transform: Thoroughly change in form, appearance.|
|Knows God exists, even believes in Him||Has close & personal relationship with God. Believes in the death & resurrection of Christ.|
|Entangled with the world & fails to recognize this||Constantly convicted by the Holy spirit, yields & repents|
|Goes to Church & prays occasionally||Seeking God is their lifestyle (Church, fellowship, Missions/Outreaches, consistent prayers/fasting)|
|Reads the bible once in a while & forgets with time||Reads, Studies, Memorizes, Meditates, Shares & lives the word.|
|Applies the word of God to what suits them||God’s word stand & remain true in all situations|
|Saved by works; got to be good for God to love me.||Saved by grace & seeks this daily through repentance, the word, prayer and meditation.|
|Identity is in people, their approval.||Identity is in Christ, God’s approval.|
|Remembers God in tough times ;only/mostly thankful in the highs of life||Trusts & seeks God in all seasons|
Bottom line: We will never know the God we ‘proclaim’ if we don’t constantly seek Him & forsake ours ways-that’s how we remain in Him and bear fruit. When validation comes, then we won’t be dismissed.
That is why ‘Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you, Away from me, you evildoers!’ Mathew 7; 22.
Are you reformed or transformed?