I recently started a new devotional on my Bible app called “Increase Your Bloom Ability” by Cheri Strange. I think what initially caught my eye was the tree art used as thumbnail. It was bright, colorful, and and up being the thing I needed to read to start my day. It serve as a reminder that I can change for the better and I am allowed to bloom at any time in my life. Below is one of my devotionals thus far in this series. I hope you enjoy this piece by Cheri Strange. Happy Saturday!
What Has Stopped Bearing Fruit?
Show-stopping gorgeous will never be reality for my ugly bushes simply by hoping they will someday be beautiful. It’s going to require time, energy and nothing short of Divine intervention. Why would we think flourishing spiritually would be any different?
We know God’s desire is that we bear fruit. But just how does fruit-bearing increase? How do we become morefruitful? In the same passage we find His purpose, we find His plan. In John 15 we can discover just how to increase our bloom ability.
Before Jesus digs into our personal fruitfulness, He introduces Himself as the True Vine. That title is significant because the vine is an Old Testament image of God’s chosen people, Israel. However, the vine of Israel failed (Isaiah 5:1) and became an empty vine (Hosea 10:1). Now Jesus takes this familiar symbol of intimacy with God, the Vinedresser, to introduce Himself as better than chosen Israel.
Jesus communicates this same message to us today. He is better. He is the One who is True. Even though we might reflect nothing more than scraggly sticks with thorns and a few leaves now, the True Vinesees what we can become. This is why He can rush in with such a necessary blow in the next phrase (John 15:2).
To increase our bloom ability, we must allow God to cut away what has stopped bearing fruit. Think about your life. What could need cutting away? Do you have habits that are not God-honoring? Are you in harmful relationships? Are there ministries no longer bearing fruit? Could it be a job you need to leave? Could it relate to how you spend your money, or your time?
This introspection calls for sensitivity to the Lord’s voice, coupled with an understanding that such pruning is not punishment. Pruning is for the overall good of the vine. You are so worth the trouble that He is marking time on the eternal calendar to tend these particular branches in your life.
Honestly, most of us need serious pruning. We misuse our time and squander our resources. And, likely, there are a lot of things we care about that don’t matter.
What is hanging lifeless on your vine? What is no longer bearing fruit in your life? May we seek first His kingdom and allow Him to cut away anything and everything that keeps us from increasing our ability to bloom.