Friday, January 18, 2013

Cherished Yet Chastised

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

I’ve always read these words to mean that my Lord would cut me off; that He would reject and cast me out if He found me not “bearing fruit.” And maybe that’s exactly what the Word indicates, but if this be true I should have been rejected and cast out LONG AGO! Oh He is so patient and good.

How I would rather be pruned! That He would use those mighty hands to mold, mend, and create in me.

And so I’m reminded that I am His. I am chosen, holy, blameless, predestined, adopted, forgiven, saved, sealed, redeemed, and His purchased possession. {Eph 1}

Can I be so bold as to add CHERISHED to that list? Am I cherished by Him? And what does that even mean? To hold dear: feel or show affection for; to keep or cultivate with care and affection; to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely.

Does He cherish me? Does He hold me dear? Does He cultivate me with care and affection? Does He entertain deep thoughts of me? It seems selfish to even think such a mighty God, such a worthy Lamb would bother with me, the one who should be taken away and cast off.

But maybe it’s not me He’s taking away. Maybe it’s those parts of me that need taken, stripped, cast out; those parts that keep me from bearing the fruit that glorifies Him. And maybe sometimes I have a difficult time deciphering between the taking away and the pruning because maybe sometimes they feel the same. And maybe sometimes they are happening cohesively? He’s taking away over here and He’s pruning over there…. They both entail cutting and pain.

So I will not grow weary in doing good and I will wait patiently as He works through the spring, summer, and then the harvest. Because that first spring bud is exciting and offers hope. But the drought of summer discourages and brings the need for refreshment. Don’t grown weary, cherished one. Don’t lose faith waiting on the harvest.  And don’t get discouraged with the cutting. Because whom He loves He chastens. It is for the furthering of the gospel in and through you.

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Lisa-Jo offers the challenge week after week: take a measly five minutes and write. No over thinking, no backtracking, no ‘wait, that’s not spiritual enough, and I can’t share that in cyber city’ mentality. Only writing. Writing for five minutes and risking the outcome. This week’s prompt- CHERISHED (Confession- I took more than 5 minutes and I over-thought, backtracked, and second guessed. I even used my thesaurus)

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  1. Beautiful. That is the verse I have memorized for Bible study this week. WE are taking Experiencing God and each week we have a verse to memorize. I think you have read into the verse the way I would have. God only wants to refine us - so He prunes away the things that do not belong to Him so we can come closer to Him.
    I have pruned much but I am sure there is stuff still that will not bear fruit unless it is pruned.
    Linking in from LIsa Jo.
    So great to meet you.

    1. I've never seen this verse quite this way before, but it was refreshing and encouraging. Your study sounds wonderful! Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. That verse has always been a little scary to me, but when I couple it with the knowledge that I am cherished, I see that the pruning is for my good, so that I can better represent His image, not to hurt me.

    A good word for me to hear! Thank you!

    1. It's such a blessing when He takes those 'scary' or 'difficult' verses and shines a new light on them, making them ours. So glad you stopped by, whimzy!

  3. Lovely words, Steph. He is making room for something great by all that pruning, and what care and attention He is giving us while He's clipping and stripping away! I welcome the discipline timidly...but I know He's good. You are definitely cherished.

    1. "Making room for something great." Oh I hope so! I too welcome discipline timidly and generally respond poorly. Another area to be pruned..... Thanks for visiting, Tresta! You too are cherished. And not just by Him :)

  4. Pruning. I love this analogy because the plants I really love, I prune and fertilize and care for. And I don't care if they bare lots of fruit or just a little. Thank you for the encouragement.

    1. I wish I were so diligent and caring with my plants. Two springs ago we lined our fence with cyprus trees. Well this last spring only one of them still lived. I literally pulled the dead, unrooted ones up with my bare hands. Ugh... that I would be that type of unrooted child. But no, because He does take the time to prune and care for me.Thanks for stopping by, Laura!


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