Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sweet Grapes

I can hear the disappointment and grief in God’s words. He’s done everything He can for me. He’s given me everything I need to live a godly life. And yet, I produce sour fruit. What more can He do?

What more can God do than everything?

So why am I not producing sweet grapes?

I’m shortsighted and blind. I’ve forgotten that He’s cleansed me from my sins.

I know something about poor vision. I started wearing glasses when I was eleven because I was nearsighted. I could see things that were close but everything far away was blurry. That changed when I had cataract surgery. I chose to have the doctor install lenses that allow me to see distance. But that means I can’t see things that are close up anymore. For a while I used reading glasses, but now I have bifocals. Either way, I can’t see what’s right in front of my face. I’m shortsighted and nearly blind.

When I apply this image to spiritual matters, I realize I must keep the knowledge of salvation right in front of me. The only way I can see what God’s done for me is to hold the Cross close and look straight at it. When I do, I can see that He’s given me everything I need to live a godly life; His great and precious promises. That’s all I need to produce sweet fruit.

Just like grapes, I want to grow a little every day. They start with a little bud on the vine, then a little cluster of tiny balls; they grow bigger day by day until they are a large cluster of sweet globes, perfect for eating or making the best wine. 

Here are the little globes of fruit that will grow if I cling to His promises:

Faith – I believe God loves me because Jesus died for me.
Moral excellence – I live by God’s standards.
Knowledge – I study God’s Word to learn more about Him and who He is.
Self-control – I sacrifice what I want in order to do what He wants.
Patient endurance – I rest in God’s goodness in the midst of suffering.
Godliness – I imitate Jesus in every attitude and action of my life.
Brotherly affection – I enjoy God’s people, my family.
Love for everyone – I show my love in practical ways that let Jesus shine through me.

I have a choice. I can remember my salvation, rely on God’s promises and bear sweet fruit or think of myself, forget what God has done for me and bear bitter fruit.

I can’t imagine anything worse than disappointing God.

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