Cheri's Blog

Increase Your Bloom Ability: Day 2

Increase Your Bloom Ability

Day Two

Show-stopping gorgeous will never be reality for my ugly bushes simply by hoping they will someday bear beautiful roses. It’s going to require time, energy, and nothing short of Divine intervention. Why would we think flourishing spiritually would be any different?

We know from John 15:8 God’s desire is for us to bear fruit. But just how does fruit-bearing work? How do we become more fruitful? In the same passage in which we find His purpose, we find His plan. Through these verses we can discover just how to increase our bloom ability.

I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.

Every branch in me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He takes away (or He cuts away) (trims off, takes away); … John 15:1-2 (Amplified)

Hold on a minute! Before Jesus jumps into our personal fruitfulness, He needs us to understand something about Himself. He introduces Himself as the True Vine. That title is significant because the vine is depicted in the Old Testament as the image of God’s chosen people, Israel. But the vine of Israel failed (Isaiah 5:1) and became and an empty vine (Hos. 10:1). Jesus takes this familiar symbol of intimacy with God, Vinedresser, to introduce Himself as better than chosen Israel because He is the Son. He can be trusted to do what needs to be done to help increase the overall fruitfulness of the vine.

That is the same message He communicates to us today. He is the One who is True. He is out only for our good. And even though you and I might reflect nothing more than a scraggly bunch of sticks with thorns and a few leaves today, He sees what we can become. He can be trusted. This is the great assurance we can have!

increase bloom ability John 15.2

Which is why He can rush in with such a necessary blow in the next phrase for blooming:

Every branch in me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He takes away (or He cuts away) (trims off, takes away); … John 15:1-2 (Amplified)

How do we Increase our Bloom Ability?

We must allow God to cut away what has stopped bearing fruit.

Jesus doesn’t pull any punches here. He gets right down to business. Think about what kinds of areas of life He might be meaning. What could need cutting away?

  • Could you possibly have habits that are not God-honoring, relationships that are harmful, or ministries that are no longer bearing fruit?
  • Could it be a job that you need to leave?
  • Could the need for cutting relate to how you spend your money, or how you spend your time?

This calls for sensitivity to the Lord’s voice, coupled with an understanding that pruning is not punishment. Pruning is for the overall good of the vine. You are so worth the trouble that He is stopping the universe to prune these particular branches in your life!

The reality for most of us is that we need serious pruning. We misuse our time and resources. We squander that which has been entrusted to us. And, if we are honest, there are a lot of things we care about that don’t matter.

What is hanging lifeless on your vine? What is not bearing fruit in your life that needs to go? What is no longer bearing fruit?

May we seek first His kingdom and allow Him access to cut anything and everything away that keeps us from increasing our bloom ability.

Cheri

 

*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*

Increase Your Bloom-Ability: Day 1

 

Increase Your Bloom-Ability

Day 1 – Does God Want Me to Bloom?

My house is entered by a long driveway lined with rose bushes. Well, they aren’t exactly bushes at all– more like sparse sticks with thorns and a few leaves. It’s not lovely or welcoming. But I envision the day when I drive up to find a prolific display of colors exploding with blooms extended from luxuriant flourishing bushes.

My husband, Chad, does not share my vision. Instead, he has urged me to remove these stragglers. He thinks they’re an eyesore. Indeed, my ugly bushes are not a vision of horticultural beauty. But I haven’t been willing to cooperate. Their current state continues to remind me of my own spiritual place of discontent. Just as I long for thriving plants that burst with a kaleidoscope of colors, I deeply desire to live a life of substance that bears an exuberant amount of spiritual fruit.

If we’re honest, this desire for exuberance in terms of spiritual fruit is something you and I have both felt from time to time. The desire to reflect the character of Christ in our day to day activities runs deep through our veins. But too often, instead, we resemble my straggly excuses for rosebushes:

  • We do not have the patience to endure what the day brings. Those closest to us pay the consequences.
  • Sometime our anger is not in check–losing control of our emotions.
  • We battle forgiveness and resolution, mentally regurgitating events we have endured by hurtful people. We recite different endings– what we SHOULD have said instead of what we DID SAY—that may have made all the difference–at least to our pride.
  • We fret and worry in the face of unknown circumstances and questions without answers– not really sure if God recognizes the gravity of our circumstances. We wonder if He is willing to help us.
  • Sometimes we’ve simply lost our vision for who God has designed us to be. Life is not what we planned, but numbness or even indifference develops toward others.

God’s purpose for you is that you become a prolific bloomer–that you increase your bloom-ability! We find this truth in Scripture (John 15:8).

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

It’s blatant. Unhidden. And if that were not enough, Jesus, Himself has provided the blueprint for how this can be achieved in our lives. (Forthcoming in the text.)

You and I must simply make a choiceEither we will take Him at His Word and move to the next level– or we won’t.

I’m going to choose to be a Take-Him-At-His-Word kind of girl. What about you? Will you join me as we look more closely as what Jesus has to say to use about increasing our bloom-ability?

The next day in this series should post Thursday.

Cheri

 

*Click here to start the reading plan on YouVersion*