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This morning’s devotion is a humbling meditation. We can so quickly find ourselves priding in our possessions and accomplishments in this life. Even the bringing of an unbeliever to the wonderful saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior can be a stumbling stone for pride. This morning we are reminded that apart from God’s goodness we would remain as “fruitless vine wood” as the verse quoted states. Yet because of His goodness and grace Christians have become fruitful, having been planted in a good soil. We are challenged to ponder what we would be without the continual influence of the Spirit bearing fruit in our lives. Which brings us to a place of realizing that all we are and have in this life is a gift of his goodness and grace.
Great believer, thou wouldst have been a great sinner if God had not made thee to differ.
Who are we to boast in anything that we have as if we earned it in our own strength, as if it were not a gift of His amazing grace in our lives.
Thou hadst not once a single thing to call thine own except thy sin and misery.
May we rejoice this morning that God has taken worthless vine wood and made it flourish to bring Him glory.
In this evenings devotion we are reminded to think eternally. A popular image of Christianity we see peddled on TV and other media is that becoming a christian is a cure all for every hardship in this life. “Give your life to Jesus and all your troubles will flee”. This soft peddling of the Christian life is like taking a friend for a skydiving adventure trip but not giving him a parachute. In this Christian life we will experience trials and there will be times of suffering. Spurgeon reminds us here that the promise of the old covenant was prosperity, but the promise of the new covenant is adversity. Remember Christ’s words:
Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away, and every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth (prunes-cuts away) it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
When we shift our hope from the things of this world to the things of heaven we seek to rejoice in our sufferings. Or as Paul put it, we find pleasure in our infirmities. Because our treasure is not stored up for us here on this earth but rather our treasure is in heaven.
May we rejoice this evening in our sufferings knowing that the very pains we serve are the very evidence of a loving saviors work in our lives.