Daily Devotion Saturday, January 5th

Saturday, January 5, 2013 – Psalm 99; Joshua 1:1-9; Hebrews 11:32-12:2 and John 15:1-16

John 15:1-16 – 1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. ……11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

The image of Jesus being the vine and we being his branches has always appealed to me. Maybe it’s because Winzenried means “grower of grapes”. Jesus is the vine and we are his branches and just as apart from the vine the branch will wither and die, so when we separate from Jesus we wither and die, at least spiritually.

I once had a member, Don, who had his own little vineyard. One spring I went out to visit and he had just finished pruning all his vines. I asked him, “Don, when do you know you have pruned them enough?” He answered, “When I think I’ve gone too far.” He literally would cut off all the old branches, to let new ones flourish on the vines.

At times in our lives we grieve the loss of someone or something. Maybe it’s that we are getting older and we have to slow down a bit. Maybe it’s the loss of a job. Maybe it’s that a good friend moves away. In each of these situations, maybe the loss is making room for something new. For those of us having to slow down; this makes more time for reading, meditating, visiting with good friends, making time for family. The loss of a job, may open up the doors to new opportunities or doing that which you have always felt called to do. A good friend moving away, opens the door to learning how to skype or do facetime on your phone, as well as opening the door to deepening relationships with new or other friends.

When the owner of the vineyard goes out to prune his vines, he does so, so his vines can produce an abundant harvest. When we experience loss, maybe this is opening us up to new opportunities, new ways of serving and glorifying God. We grieve the losses of our life, but celebrate that Jesus is the true vine and we are his branches.

Thanks be to God for how God prunes us, or simply uses our losses, so we can better serve Him and produce an abundant harvest for him.

The word for today and tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday is love. Hear again what Jesus said to his disciples and to us; “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. May we do just that, throughout this weekend.

O God, Jesus is the vine and we are His branches. May we seek to abide in him in all ways, so through us you can produce a wonderful, abundant crop of your love, grace and peace. Amen.

Psalm 99 – 1   The LORD is king; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
2   The LORD is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.
3   Let them praise your great and awesome name.
Holy is he!
4   Mighty King, lover of justice,
you have established equity;
you have executed justice
and righteousness in Jacob.
5   Extol the LORD our God;
worship at his footstool.
Holy is he!

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