Friday, 10 June 2016

Things Want To Grow

Proverbs 12:14  A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the hard work of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.

       I was talking with my good friend, Tim, who is a horticulturist and landscape architect extraordinaire. I showed him a grafting project I was working on; an old grape vine in my yard. I had cut down the four-inch thick vine to about a foot and a half off the ground and established some notch grafts that I grafted into the old vine. 
      There were problems with the old variety and the choice was to take it right out and plant a new kind of vine or try this notch graft method. I am grafting three different varieties of grapes into this one old established grapevine.
      One of the graft buds had opened and looked good and healthy. With an emphasis and a knowing look on his face, Tim said, "Things want to grow." The truth of that statement hit my heart with profound clarity. Everything God makes wants to grow. The entire earth system is designed to want to grow. 
      As we looked at the new graft that had strongly taken, we could see the workings of the word of God in the healthy graft. Jesus said in John 15:5 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. What is so heartwarming to me is that I am grafting a white table grape called a Himrod and a dark purple called a Concord, plus a burnish red called Valiant into this old vine. Think about it. Three different varieties living from one main vine. 
      The parallels are so wonderful as each one of us who are in Christ has been grafted into Jesus the true vine. We who are in Christ are individual branches bringing forth fruit that is characteristic to our individuality that God created within each one of us. However, even though we are individuals we are one in Christ because we are grafted and fed by Christ's love, truth, and power making us who we are in the body of the Lord. 
      Jesus really is the vine and we are the branches that bear fruit for His glory and kingdom. It just makes me want to smile and say, "I love you Lord God. You are so good and you absolutely know what you are doing in this world and in our lives." 
      Things want to grow. God has put a desire and a purpose within each one of us, as we grow, to produce Godly fruit in life. God, the vine-keeper, comes along and prunes what does not produce fruit. John 15:2 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. God's purpose for us is that we produce more and more of what is Godly. 
      We are pruned in order to keep producing much more fruit as we grow, plus we are to become a healthy branch that can be counted on to nourish the week and grow into what God has created us to be. John 15:8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 
      It is the will of God that we grow up, grow outward and grow strong in the richness of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 
      Within each one of us is the God-given ability to be grafted into Christ and become one with the Father as Jesus is one with the Father. John 17:21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one--as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
      As I have been working in the garden and cultivating around the vines, fruit trees and berry bushes this year, I have often stated out loud what my friend Tim said, "Things want to grow." It feels like I am making a declaration of faith when I speak it out. 
      I become aware that Christ is working a work within me that spurs me onward to the heavenly calling God has put within me. Jude 1:24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy. May we all come to the place where we welcome the pruning the Father does in our lives so that we can grow mightily in Christ. Blessings on us all.