Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fruit (10/10/05)
TITLE: Our Father's Vineyard
By Michael Hurd
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When I was seven years old, I used to go to my sisterís farm that was on the edge of an apple orchard. My delight was to climb the trees and eat of its fruit.
On one occasion, I ate many green apples that had that sour, but sweet, taste that I acquired, that made me eat one more apple every time I went to visit her farm. She, and my parents, would warn me that if I ate too many than I would get sick. I did not believe them or frankly, I did not care, my only desire was to fill my belly.
Lord and behold I got sick. However, it taught me that nothing was wrong with liking something. Nevertheless, liking something too much can be dangerous.
This is also how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. Pruning us so that we stay attached to the vine, Jesus said that I am the vine and you are the branches. In addition, if we abide in Him than we will bear much fruit, but apart from Him, we cannot do anything.
In order to grow we are to be pruned. Pruning is painful, but necessary. In addition, the fruit comes later.
I learned a very valuable lesson about eating green apples. However, I did not listen, I had to experience what my parents, and sister was trying to keep me from, this served as a reminder of not listening.
Many things that we eat, in this world, have the attractiveness that seems pleasing to our eyes, but is poison to our souls. That has all the appearance of Godliness, but is just green apples. In all our sinful natures, there is that part of us, even as a child, that wants to sever ourselves from the vine. To go out for ourselves, thinking we know what is really best for our welfare.
In these times, we can appear to be unfruitful. These are the pruning seasons. In which we are dying to self and strengthened in the vine, stripped from the impurities of this earth and renewed in the fulness of Christ. So, that we become oaks of righteousness. That stands tall in the midst of our storms, planted forever in our Fatherís vineyard.
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