Even More Fruitful

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I have a philodendron plant hanging in my kitchen window.

From time to time, some of the leaves turn yellow and then brown.

They finally shrivel up into a completely dead leaf.

Unsightly looking at the least, it is best to gently pull them off the living vine.

They are no longer of any use to the plant.

This afternoon, I noticed that I had a few leaves that had turned brown.

As I was removing them from their branches, my thoughts turned to life in general.

There are times when certain things need to be removed from our lives.

Not just bad things or things that could hurt us, but things that we may need to move away from as we are continuing on in our journey of faith.

If we were to sign up for an introductory class in mathematics, we would hope to move on to the next level of instruction when we had sufficiently learned what was being taught.

There would be no need to continue going to the first class if it was time for the second one.

Like a leaf that no longer needs to remain on a vine, we would need to put that class schedule away and spend our time in a more productive way.

As God continues to work in our lives, there will be “classes” He wants us to attend–a certain job, a ministry opportunity–even a particular neighborhood to live in.

When the time is right, He may then direct us to the next “class.”

We may feel His leading to move on in the new direction He is preparing for us.

The old leaves removed one by one at just the right time, making room for growth of new leaves—at just the right time.

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“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

—John 15:1-2

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The Darkness Has Not Overcome

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Have you ever wanted to watch an important sports event on television, but it just wasn’t possible?

Perhaps you were scheduled to work at that time or some other circumstance was in the way.

When the event was over, you likely heard the results through friends or the media.

This team won.

That team lost.

This person won the contest.

This athlete was defeated.

Chances are, if you were really enthusiastic about the sport, watching a recording of the event might still have been of interest to you.

The only difference would’ve  been that you already knew the outcome.

You knew who would win.

We are all painfully aware of evil in this world.

Darkness that threatens us unrelentingly.

Yet, we are also aware of God’s presence and sovereignty.

With unfailing faithfulness, God is with us and He is in total control.

In the book of John in the New Testament, we find these words:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

—John 1:1-5

Jesus has come to the earth.

In Him, there is life.

He is the light, shining in this world that is currently plagued in darkness and sin.

That darkness has not overcome Jesus.

That darkness will NEVER overcome Jesus.

God has already told us who wins.

We know who overcomes.

Jesus says,

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

—John 16:33

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