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Victory: What kind of Victory do you want?

via TJC

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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also 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. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing…

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:1-5,16.

 

Today, we’re looking at Victory, as evidenced by producing good fruit that lasts.

 

In John 15, Jesus tells us that he is the vine, and in order to have victory (fruit that lasts) in our lives, we must continue to be connected to Him.

 

When I hear about fruit, I think of apples because I had a wild apple tree behind my house. In the Spring, the tree was beautiful, with many blossoms on many branches. However, no one attended to the wild tree, and in the Fall, it produced many very small apples, not ready for human eating.

 

One evening at dinner a friend, who is also an arborist, noted several things needed to get useful fruit: The dead branches would need to be cleared out of the way. A master arborist would also prune some live branches so that the remaining branches have access to sunlight and grow stronger because more sap would be flowing through them. The spring blossoms may look nice but many would need to be pinched off or you would continue to get too many small apples. In the caring hands of a master arborist, the wild tree could grow tall and produce good fruit that lasts.

 

Looking again at John 15, the Father is the perfect Vine-dresser (or Arborist). 

  Before salvation, there is no good fruit as sin inhibits the sap from nourishing. 

  He disciplines us to replace bad habits with good (some fruit).

  He prunes us to remove good things to make room for the best things (more fruit).

  By continuing to remain in Him, our fruit blesses others intentionally (much fruit).

 

Considering this metaphor, I can more easily embrace disciplining as I invite Jesus’s help to replace bad habits with good ones. The pruning part is harder because it hurts more as there is some life in those branches. Ultimately, I fall on my face and say, “Yes, Lord. Have your way. You make the Victory. Apart from You, I can do nothing that lasts.”

 

Daily Battle Order: It’s about the Fruit (stupid). What kind of Victory do you want?

Are you willing to settle for simply sliding in at the end, barely saved, but in? Or are you willing to settle for listing all the bad habits you don’t do (discipline, some fruit), or living a life whose example is worth repeating by others (pruning, more fruit). The definition of Victory the Lord is calling is to, is to grow fruit on other people’s trees, which is possible when abiding in Him.

 

 Consider today: What kind of Victory do you want?

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