Lesson 12 -- third quarter 2001
August 19, 2001
© Copyright 2001, Christian Light Publications
Much has been invested in you.
This lesson reminds me again of just how much God has invested and how hard He has worked to make sure we are spiritually healthy, successful and fruitful. He has spared no effort; He has avoided no expense. As each human life winks out on this planet, I can easily imagine God musing, "What could have been done more . . . that I have not done . . . ?" We need no further proof that God loves us immensely!
Let's use Isaiah 5:2 to help us understand a bit of God's investment in us.
"And he fenced it." God wants to protect us from wild grapes and thistles that might invade our lives. These things would hinder the growth of the good branches, even crowd them out. He also wants to keep out the rabbits and foxes that would work mayhem with both the branch and its fruit. Let's not resent the fences and limits He puts in our lives with such love and foresight.
"And gathered out the stones thereof." Good soil -- that's what God wants to work with. So He digs out the rocks and stones, even those that look pretty. You know that stones and plants don't mix well in a profitable garden. So when He takes anything out of our lives, let's trust His love and wisdom.
"And planted it with the choicest vine." Because He wants a good vineyard and good branches and good fruit, God planted the choicest Vine. Without that good beginning and without that Life, no branch can ever produce fruit that will satisfy the Husbandman. So as we strive to live for God and produce fruit for Him, let's make sure we do not wander from the Vine. No one can leave this Vine and expect to make a successful, fruitful new start. Stay with the Vine!
"And built a tower in the midst of it." God knows the vineyard with its treasure has scores of enemies and competitors. The enemies would like to rip off the fruit and trample it. In fact, they would love to tear the branches right off the Vine in order to destroy them and lay waste to the vineyard. The competitors pose a different sort of threat. They would like to snitch a few branches to transplant into their projects. Some of them would even like to somehow graft in their branches in order to reduce the quality of the Husbandman's. Let's appreciate the towers and guards God brings into our lives. We have them because of His love and protection.
"And also made a winepress therein." God expects His vineyard to produce a good crop. He anticipates good fruit, not to admire but to press into the choicest wine. (What else could you expect from the choicest Vine?!) And why shouldn't He? He has done everything He could to ensure the vineyard will yield fruit worthy to be pressed into wine worthy of His Name. Let's produce fruit for the Husbandman. Let's not disappoint His love and hope!
I know the illustrations I give suffer from a few weaknesses. Don't let that get in the way of the lesson -- much has been invested in you! Live accordingly.
When can we give up on someone?
The longer answer is that as long as there is life, we should hope and pray. The conclusion that someone is beyond the reach of God's best efforts is only God's to reach. We have no business writing off anyone.
Because we don't have God's foreknowledge.
Because we haven't made the investment that God has made.
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