“When your words came I ate them, they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.” (Jeremiah 15:16)
Do I crave God's Word?
“I am the vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:1-4)
Am I connected to the Vine?
In The Listening Life, Adam S. McHugh writes, “Listening is important enough to Jesus that he devotes his first parable to it (Mark 4:1-20). In Mark's Gospel Jesus frames the parable of the sower with the opening word 'Listen!' and the closing exclamation 'Let anyone with ears to hear listen!' Overtly about a farmer indiscriminately scattering seed on different types of soil, the story is actually about different types of hearers.
There are the path hearers—those who don't really hear at all, deflecting and dismissing Jesus' words. There are the rocky listeners, who let the word penetrate a little but then reject it because of the adverse voices of struggle and persecution.
Third are the thorny listeners, who listen a while longer but slowly allow the subtle power of seductive voices—the accumulation of wealth and the sparkle of material things—to suffocate the word. Finally are the true and fruitful listeners, those who receive the word deep into themselves, where it does its proper work of flowering and bearing fruit.”
Do I receive God's Word deep into myself?
“But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” (Galatians 5: 22-23, MSG)
Is God living out His life in me?
What do I crave?
A life free of struggle and pain? The accumulation of wealth and the sparkle of material things? Getting my way in life?
Or true transformation of my heart by the living and active Word of God? Giving my Gardener the freedom to prune any and every branch? In order to bear fruit that will give glory to the only One who deserves it?
(Linking up with Velvet Ashes this week on the Theme of Crave)