A Lesson Learned

A curling tendril
Image via Wikipedia

The following was shared by a subscriber to the daily email devotional.

Daily Devotions: A Lesson in Vines.
Today’s devotion isn’t really a devotional that I received from an email.  It is more like an observation and a lesson learned from nature.
When we first moved into our house at the end of December, I noticed a spiked leafy plant with tall stalks that stood dormant beside the backdoor.  I just could not wait until spring to see what flowers (if any) would bloom from this plant.  At the beginning of June, the wait was over.  I saw the flowers that this plant yielded.  It had a light orange to yellow lily type shape.  It was a very pretty flower.  I am not a flower person, so I can not tell you what kind of flowering plant this was.
A couple of weeks ago, I was clearing some weeds from around the house.  There was a vine of some sort that was starting to wind and loop itself around the fence close to the back door.  I had pulled the vine and cleared the fence.  Inspecting my work, I notice a small vine growing around the plant with the pretty yellow flowers.  I said to myself, “I’ll get it the next time.
Today, I was walking around the backyard.  I looked toward the pretty flowers.  They were all gone.  The little vine that was left unattended had grown and overpowered the flowering plant.  The vine had twisted itself around the tall stem choking the life out of the flowers and then the plant itself.  The flowers were only a wilted mass of their once vibrant splendor.  I could still see the buds of a future flower still on the stalk.  But I knew that I had to act to preserve the flowers.
I carefully untwisted the vine from the stalk.  I tenderly unwound the choking intruder from the thinner stem that held the future flower buds.  I noticed that the vine had wound itself so tightly around the stem that it weakened the stem.  The stem only broke off in my hands.
Then I thought about how this could easily be an example of how our lives could be.  Is there a sin or transgression that has not been attended to?  At first, it may appear to be a small sprout of a vine just starting to poke its way through the soil.  We can say to ourselves, “I’ll tend to that later”.  But as time goes on, that vine grows along with us.  We start to yield the fruits of the Spirit.  We start to display the flowers of HIS vibrant glory.  Then the intruding vine will entangle itself around us and try to choke us spiritually.
But, what if we allow Christ to be the vine?  In John 15:5, Christ states that HE is the vine and we are the branches.  After seeing how this vine had overpowered the flowering plant, I wonder how different our lives could be if we truly allow HIM to entangle HIMSELF in our lives.  What if we allowed Christ to be the center of our lives and that HIS attributes choke out the impurities in our lives?

Oh, to be completely and totally wrapped up in Jesus.

John 15:1-9 (KJV)

1) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2) Every bran ch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

9) As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

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Have You Eaten Yet?

[Display of home-canned food] (LOC)
Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

This is an article I wrote, originally, back in December.  It was, I believe, the very first email devotional that I send out when I began this work.  I hope that you get something from it, for it’s one of those things to ‘ponder’ on.

Have You Eaten Yet?

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The Value of Time

Four Seasons - Longbridge Road
Image by joiseyshowaa via Flickr

To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn’t have one.
To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.
To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.
To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.
To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to
A premature baby…..
To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.
Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.

You will treasure it even more when

You can share it with someone special.
To realize the value of a friend or family member:
LOSE ONE.

The origin of this letter is unknown.

Ecc 3:1-8  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  (2)  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  (3)  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  (4)  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  (5)  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  (6)  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  (7)  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  (8)  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

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Ponder on This

The Descent of the Holy Spirit in a 15th centu...
Image via Wikipedia

I had often heard different folks speak about meditating on Scripture.  Of course, being just a country boy, thinking of meditating brought images of cross legged, chanting, and incense-burning ‘mystic’ types to my mind.  I know, that sounds silly even to me now.  But at one point that really is exactly what I thought of. 

One day I finally thought that there had to be something to this meditating that was not like the notion that I had of it.  Looking it up in the dictionary had, for what ever reason, never occurred to me before, but it finally did on this particular day.  Mr. Webster defines meditate as:

1. To dwell on any thing in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind; appropriately but not exclusively used of pious contemplation, or a consideration of the great truths of religion.

His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:2.

2. To intend; to have in contemplation.

I meditate to pass the remainder of life in a state of undisturbed repose.

What a wonderful tool the dictionary is, when you use it!  Finally, I understood the whole concept of Biblical meditation.  And better yet, I was already doing it; I just didn’t know that I had been.  Why, you ask, didn’t I know I’d been doing it?  Well, I thought I was just pondering on God’s Word, not meditating.  I did (and do) know that what ever you call it, meditating, contemplating, or pondering, it was a very profitable and enjoyable thing.  And I highly recommend taking time out of your busy schedule to ponder on a point (or two) that the Holy Spirit directs you toward each and every day.  I think you’ll agree that it is not only profitable but enjoyable, too.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. (Psalm 1:2; 77:12)

Lord God,

I thank You for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I read, study and think on Your Word.  I praise You for giving me any insight and understanding of Scripture that You see fit to give me.

Greg Wolford

©2009

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