JULY 20

 

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. … Every branch in me … that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit—John 15: 1, 2.

 

As even the best branches in the vine, which give evidence of fruit-bearing, require pruning, so even the most honest and earnest of the Lord's people require the Lord's discipline and providential care—otherwise they might soon run to wood-making also, and fail to bring forth much fruit. The true child of God whose will has been entirely immersed into the will of the Lord is neither offended nor discouraged by these prunings. He has learned something at least of his own unwisdom, and has confidence in the wisdom of the great Husbandman. Hence when Divine providence estops his efforts in some directions, he takes the thwarting of his plans joyfully, assured that the Lord's will and the Lord's way are the best, and intended to work out a blessing.

 

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The objects in nature furnished our Lord with much illustrative matter in teaching His disciples. Our text brings to our attention the Vine, Christ, out of whom His members have grown as branches. Under the care of the Father each of these branches has borne the fruit of Christlikeness. They have needed the continual cleansing and pruning work of the Husbandman, to the end that they would yield rich spiritual fruitage.

 

Parallel passages: John 15: 3-8; Heb. 12: 2-17; 13: 20; Eph. 5: 23; Luke 1: 69; John 14: 6; Heb: 6: 7, 8; John 13: 10; 17: 17; Eph. 5: 26; 1Pet. 1: 22; Heb. 12: 4-14; 2Pet. 1: 2-10; 1John 1: 9.

 

Questions: What were the week's pruning experiences? How were they met? In what did they result?

 

DISAPPOINTMENT

 

"DISAPPOINTMENT—His appointment,"

Change one letter, then I see

That the thwarting of my purpose

Is God's better choice for me.

His appointment must be blessing,

Tho' it may come in disguise,

For the end from the beginning

Open to His wisdom lies.

 

"Disappointment—His appointment,"

Whose? The Lord's who loves me best,

 Understands and knows me fully,

Who my faith and love would test;

For, like loving earthly parent,

He rejoices when He knows

That his child accepts, Unquestioned,

All that from His wisdom flows.

 

"Disappointment—His appointment,"

"No good thing will He withhold,"

From denials oft we gather

Treasures of His love untold.

Well He knows each broken purpose

Leads to fuller, deeper trust,

And the end of all His dealings

Proves our God is wise and just.

 

"Disappointment—His appointment,"

Lord, I take it, then, as such.

Like the clay in hands of potter,

Yielding wholly to Thy touch.

All my life's plan is Thy moulding,

Not one single choice be mine;

Let me answer, unrepining—

Father, "Not my will, but Thine."

 

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