Monday, July 05, 2010

Fruitful Vines

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals

Ezekiel 15:2-3 "Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest? Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon? "

Suppose it is mid-October, and I would like to start a fire in my fire pit. I will need some kindling to start this fire, so armed with an ax, I go into my dining room and start chopping away at an antique oak chair! Could I start a fire with this kindling? Sure. Would it be wise of me to actually do it? Not on your life! In contrast, I have the remnants of a tomato vine in my back yard. That vine would make good kindling, and that would actually be fine to use!

There is intrinsic value and beauty in an oak, walnut, mahogany, or pine tree, but a vine only has one redeeming factor: fruit. God often called Israel a vine in the Old Testament (Psalm 80, Isaiah 5, Hosea 10), and the imagery is also used in the New Testament (John 15). In Ezekiel 15, God explained to Israel that they are not a beautiful tree; they are a vine. The only value they had was the fruit they produced. Without fruit, they were only good for kindling.

What else can you do with a vine? The only thing a vine is good for is fruit! As verse 3 says, "Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work?" You can't make a beautiful bench or cabinet out of a vine. The only redeeming quality a vine has is the fruit it produces. Israel did not have the riches of Egypt, the army of Assyria, or the culture of Babylon-they had no intrinsic value whatsoever. Now, we are not Israel, but the same is true with you and me. Are you the richest person you know? The smartest? The most beautiful?

There is nothing in my life to commend me more than the next person. I am like a vine. As God's people by faith in Christ, we are not a tree-we are a vine. The only benefit we have is when we are producing fruit. Just like my garden in the winter, the vines I planted are useless because they are not bearing fruit. However, with a planter and a cultivator in the summer, they have a tremendous benefit because they produce tomatoes!

My friend, there is a God in heaven who has "planted" you where you are, and He wants to cultivate your life so that you will produce fruit. The fruit He wants to produce in your life (Ephesians 5:22-23) cannot come on your own-it is the "fruit of the Spirit." The only redeeming quality a vine has is the fruit it produces. Are you bearing the fruit the Great Cultivator wants to produce in your life?

Prayer Requests
1. Protection and provision for staff
2. Families to be helped and encouraged this week
Camp Quote:
"Whenever we are inwardly changed by God, it will outwardly show in our life."
-Evangelist Jim Cook
Visit our website for more information about our summer camp weeks!
Bill Rice Ranch 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road Murfreesboro TN 37128

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