Fruit, the Sign of a Healthy Vine.

“It is your heart that I seek – since you were born I have been working in you and around you to win your heart. This is not about obedience, this is about your heart, but as you find more and more satisfaction in Me, you will give Me your obedience as a full and appropriate response to My love for you. As you taste and experience My love for you, you will give Me more and more of your love. However while you are still in the “now but not yet”, there will still be other things that are drawing your love away from Me. I am weaning you away from those things as I seek to win those parts of your heart as well. It is OK to enjoy life, good food, warm fellowship, long walks in My creation, as long as you don’t love those things for themselves but see them all as gifts that I have and am giving you, flowing from My love for you.

Focusing on Isaiah Ch 5 today, it starts with this song that God sings about the one He loves, His vineyard. Stop there. This is food for thought. It gives the reader a picture of God’s purpose in calling His people Israel into a covenant relationship with Himself. The picture is familiar and clear in symbolic agricultural language. God poured His love out on this people whom He called to Himself. He gave them every start. All He wanted was an appropriate response to His love, “producing the appropriate fruit”. Now that purpose and expectation has surely passed on to the Church. God has planted His Church and tended it with love. As the story of the Church unfolds in the NT we are constantly reminded that God seeks fruit from it. Fruit can only be produced if the Church remains connected to the Vine. The question which we must ask ourselves as we look at SA is; “What fruit do we see from the Church?” Bringing that home to each one of us, “What fruit is God harvesting from your or my life?”

In the rest of the chapter He catalogues a number of Israel’s sins which could easily be a description of life in many places in SA today. This is clearly because of the prevalence of sin due to the people’s general disregard for God. We need to remember that SA and for that matter the whole world is already under God’s judgement. The solution to the problem does not lie in warning society to change its behaviour. It cannot do it. The solution comes from God and the starting point will be revealed as Isaiah’s prophecy goes on, as the curtain is slowly pulled aside and we can see the Gospel peaking out. There is only one solution for this awful state of affairs. That is wrapped up in the tiny word “Gospel”.

So what do I hear Jesus saying to me from this litany of sins and warnings of evil and God’s judgement? As much as they were aimed at the Israelites, we should all now read them individually and corporately as members of the Church. Firstly the call is still to produce fruit. As I said earlier, we can only do that if we are intimately connected to the Vine who is Jesus. Receiving the life-giving sap of His Spirit and the word. This reminds me of this absolute basic requirement and joy of a relationship with Jesus, spending quality time with Him daily.

What about all those sins? They look so gross at first glance, but as we look carefully there may be embryo’s of sins which are present in our lives. Like V 19, for instance. I am sure I have felt like asking God to hurry, when I can’t see the answers to my prayers. Maybe asking Him to lay out His plan for my life. It seems that expresses a doubt in God Himself.

One Reply to “Fruit, the Sign of a Healthy Vine.”

  1. I am the vine , you are the branches . The one who abides in Me and.i in him , bears much fruit , for apart from Me you can do nothing . If anyone does not abide in Me , he is thrown away like a branch and is dried up. Such branches are picked up and thrown into the fire. John 15 5 6 As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we have to be conscious to abide in Him every moment of our lives, to trust Him with our whole heart and know that without Him we are nothing. Without the Lord our lifes have no purpose. Through the power of the Holy Spirit within us Christ’s love and grace is being poured our on us and our lives will bear fruit. ” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy , peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness , gentleness and self-control, against such things there is no law. Galatians 5 22 All power and glory be to our Holy Lord forever and ever! Amen

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