Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 10, 2016
By Tripp Prince.
And Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.” Luke 13:6
Throughout the Bible, God’s people Israel are often referred to as a vineyard. This image can be found in both the Old and New Testaments where the consistent message linked to this image is that healthy vineyards bear fruit! When a vineyard is true to its design and purpose, it overflows with life and fruitful production. Conversely, when they fail to bear fruit, they have rejected their purpose, their mission, and their design.
Though God is patient and merciful, the parable Jesus tells in Luke 13 reminds us that God does indeed expect us to live fruitful lives! How can we say we love God and desire to follow him if that love is not reflected in the way we treat one another? I think of these words from 1 John, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 Jn. 4:20). Likewise, John the Baptist invites us to follow Jesus by “bearing fruit in keeping with repentance” (Mt. 3:8).
Love of God and fruitful, faithful living always go hand in hand. You can’t say you love God without living sacrificially for the sake of others. And you can’t truly love without that love being inspired and empowered by Love himself.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4).
The key to fruitful Christian living is to remain crystal clear on the source of our life and health. As Jesus reminds us, if we are to bear much fruit, we have to abide in our source of life: Him and Him alone. However, this is harder for us to do than you might think! We are culturally so full of self-help, self-affirmation, and positive self-worth that I think one of the single greatest challenges to following Jesus in our day is the simple acknowledgement of our need! We must truly believe that we cannot save or help ourselves. Though we’re told that the answers to every problem we face in life are found inside of us if we just dig deep enough, it simply isn’t true!
If we believe the lie that we are self-fulfilled people who just need God to help out from time to time, we run the great risk of being like the fruitless vineyard Jesus speaks of in this parable. May we instead boldly and unashamedly abide in Christ, who is our only source of life and hope!
Prayer: Father, help us as your people to be a fruitful vineyard that abides in you alone.
Application: How can you grow in loving God, not only in word, but in deed as well?
Related Readings: Proverbs 12:12; Isaiah 45:8; Romans 7:4; Colossians 1:10
Post/Tweet this today: We can’t truly love without that love being inspired and empowered by Love Himself. #WisdomHunters #bearfruit
Worship Video: 9 minutes – United Pursuit: Never Going Back
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© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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