I will be the first to admit that I know very little about gardening. However, that hasn't stopped this city girl from trying to cultivate a bit of country into those black thumbs I have.
I stood out in what I refer to as my garden—what my neighbors likely refer to as a jungle—tenderly planting each starter I had purchased at the open market. That is when my precious 2 1/2-year-old decided that his mommy needed some help. In his eagerness he managed to trample a few of the sprouts I had just planted.
This distressed me because I had carefully planned out how many plants I felt we needed to feed the family lovely home-grown goodness.
A stem that is not connected to the main stalk will die, and that is exactly what happened to these trampled plants whose stalks and stems where mashed and battered.
They didn't have a source of life to keep them nourished and growing.
In John 15 Jesus uses this analogy to refer the source of our spiritual nourishment. He says:
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" (John 15: 4-5).
Did you see that right there?
"For without Me you can do nothing."
When I threw those broken stems in my compost pile, they did not grow. They did not give me tomatoes and peppers. They simply wilted and died.
It is the same with our spiritual lives.
How often have we supposed we can go days and weeks without picking up our Bibles or spending quality time in prayer, not just throwing out requests, but listening for the Master's voice?
How often have we made decisions, or just reacted, before we spent time in the Vine-dresser's presence, allowing Him to prune our hearts of envy, covetousness, bitterness, anger or pride so we can bear the fruit of the Spirit?
While our lives bear varied kinds of fruit, the end result is the same—the Father is glorified.
He is glorified in our obedience to keep His commands.
He is glorified in the fullness of joy we have when we are connected to the life source of the Holy Spirit who surges through us, giving us life so we can go and bear much fruit.
He is glorified in the love we share because we abide in Him and do what He commands.
And, when the Father is glorified, we are satisfied because we are accomplishing the purpose for which He created us.
Dear friends, love, joy, fulfillment, satisfaction and contentment are not found in any other source than in the glorification of the Father! We glorify the Father when we remain connected to the Vine—to the only One who gives us life.
Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together they live in the country with their two active boys where she enjoys fruity candles, good coffee and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. Her passion for writing led her to author her best-selling book The Missional Handbook. At A Little R & R she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. You can also find her at Missional Call where she shares her passion for local and global missions. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.
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