Fresh Hope – 27th January 2017

Imagine you have a tree covered with bad fruit. You decide to remove the fruit, and using sellotape, attach nice tasty fruit bought from the local grocers.

What would be the point? It would prove expensive, time consuming and frustrating to keep up!

Even though this sounds crazy, it’s easy to fall into this trap in our Christian lives. We can focus on the bad or lack of fruit in our lives and start to manufacture or enhance our fruit, but the taped on fruit doesn’t last and for how long can we keep it up? Not long.

For a tree, it’s an obvious solution. Don’t focus on the fruit but on the conditions of the tree, the soil it’s planted in, the sun and water it is or isn’t getting. If the conditions are right, you don’t have to worry about the fruit, it will just follow.

For some reason in our lives, it’s not so obvious and we fall into the trap of feeling guilty over our lack and end up just trying harder. We should instead step back and assess our environment and our growing conditions.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Here, Jesus clearly states what growing conditions are needed to produce fruit, simply ‘to remain’ in him.

Two areas that will help us do this are:

Where are you planted? Deeply in His Church or more shallow and uncommitted?

What do you feed on daily? Social media or the Bible? Even just a 10 minute daily devotion at the start of the day can set your course for the following 24 hours.

I encourage you this year to assess your growing conditions, do what you can to remain in Him and watch the results follow!

Luke Cartwright

A daily devotion for a better way of living.