Today I was reading the John Stott daily devotional that I’ve been using for about a year now. It’s titled Through the Bible Through the Year and it’s probably the single most insightful devotional I’ve ever come across. There are so many gems each day that spark my thoughts and inspire further study.
I wanted to pass along a couple of the paragraphs that were in today’s reading as I thought they were so well written, descriptive and helpful. So, here they are, John Stott’s words:
What, then, are the secrets of fruitfulness? The first is the pruning of the vine. God is an indefatigable gardener. He prunes every fruit-bearing branch so that it may bear more fruit. This pruning is surely a picture of suffering. And pruning is a drastic process. The bush or shrub is cut right back, usually in the autumn. To the uninitiated it looks extremely cruel. Sometimes only a stump is left—naked, jagged, scarred, and mutilated—but when the spring and summer return, there is much fruit. The painful pruning knife has evidently been in safe hands. Some form of suffering is virtually indispensable to holiness.
The second secret of fruitfulness is the “abiding” of the branches in the vine. In essence to be a Christian is to be “in Christ,” organically united to Christ. So to abide in Christ is to maintain and develop an already existing relationship. Moreover, it is a reciprocal relationship, since we abide in Christ and Christ in us. For Christ to abide in us we must let him do so, allowing him to be increasingly what he is, our Lord and our Life Giver. But for us to abide in Christ, Bishop J. C. Ryle put it like this: “Abide in me. Cling to me. Stick fast to me. Live the life of close and intimate communion with me. Get nearer and nearer to me. Roll every burden on me. Cast your whole weight on me. Never let go your hold on me for a moment.”
If you’ve been blessed by Derek’s blog, resources or ministry, would you prayerfully consider a gift for him and his family? Click here for details on how to make a donation.
Photo by David Köhler on Unsplash.