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Listen while you read: "The Love Of God"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 21:43 – Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. (ESV)

In the five years since we moved to our house, I have pruned, dug up trees, and replanted or planted anew bushes, plants, and trees. I am not an inborn gardener — unlike my mum who was — but I must have gleaned something from helping her over the years.

By trial and error, I have sought to coax growth, organization, and vigorous life into our little plot of land and to let things progress annually. Depending on the weather and its timing, each year has been different.

One of the trees is an apple tree. On arrival, it had two boughs and a few leaves, but it gave no flowers or fruit. Looking like a large, old, wooden catapult, it was in a sorry state. I have selectively pruned and lopped its growth to improve its shape and transform its lean existence into a rounded tree bearing large red apples — something that was hard to imagine when we arrived.

It reminds me how God has taken our lives and patiently lopped and pruned to improve our lives and our understanding of His love for us.

Today, if we believe that something is holding us back, stunting our growth in the kingdom, then we need to ask the Lord of the harvest for His helping hand to prune and clean us so that we can become even more fruitful.

In my imagination, I can hear Jesus saying to the destroyer, "They are now mine, and I have redeemed them. Look at them bring forth fruit.

"How do you like them apples?"

Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that even when we are down and out, You are our Champion and Saviour. You are the One Who patiently lifts us up and trims off the lifeless wood so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, in due time, we can bring forth fruit in keeping with Your kingdom. Hallelujah! Praise the name of Jesus! Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickhenrymarshall@gmail.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us, Blessings.


    Amen Rod. Glad you got that tree sorted out and can enjoy such nice produce!
    Blessings.


    Thank you for your devotional and the reminder of how we need to keep on pruning our lives as well. Thank God that the Word of God is powerful, living, and sharp.


    Hi Rod. Another excellent devotional. Thanks so much. Sadly, I know I still need pruning and trimming. But I am very grateful to have come out the other side on some of the major cuts over the years!
    Take good care and thanks again.


    Greetings Rod,
    Thanks for your writings today. Very reassuring message. Jesus truly is our “champion” and ever ready to serve us and answer our call. Blessings for these writings you submit to the devotional program.


    Hello Rod. Apples don’t grow here, but when we moved in this house 9 years ago, it had apricot and fig trees.
    The figs never want to stop so we share with neighbors who love them. We are told to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are neighbors across the ocean. God bless all.
    (California)


    I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOUR GARDEN. Our yard at our previous home was well tended as were the plants. After we moved to the ranch many years ago it was evident that a different approach was needed. For years we harvested wonderful peaches but our one tree that produced the most seems now to be worn out. Could it have anything to do with our ages?? Best not to think about that. This year my husband has had an amazing tomato crop grown in our keyhole garden.
    One of my favorite memories was from Camp, a time when our grandchildren came for about six days to visit without their parents. I decided we would make a keyhole garden. The oldest, Isabelle, soon let me know that this activity was not her favorite!
    Thanks again for sharing your talent as a devotional writer, Rod.


    “Today, if we believe that something is holding us back, stunting our growth in the kingdom, then we need to ask the Lord of the harvest for His helping hand to prune and clean us so that we can become even more fruitful.”
    Your helpful words have prompted me to realign my focus, and I thank you. I am an aging US Baby Boomer, grieving over what is happening here. Grieving to the point of deep depression and inability to function beyond day-to-day basics. A friend, who is a retired pastor of the Baptist church, when asked if he thought we can survive, replied, “America might not survive – but WE will survive. I’ve read the book and I know how the story ends.” There is little I can do to save our republic, but I can still bear fruit for our Lord. Thank you for helping get me back on track.
    (Alabama USA)


    Good morning, Rod,
    You have been a busy gardener and improving yourself and nature. Working with the soil helps us to connect with God’s nature. It is great that your apple tree became so fruitful, and you are fruitful in your sharing with others of what you have learned and understand.
    It is so true that we all go through periods where we need God to prune us and help us to once again grow and bear His fruit. It is good to be reminded of how much God loves us and wants us to grow. A lesson that a gardener does learn that when we prune it fires up the tree, bush, or plant to produce and become vigorous once more. God does the same with us and helps us to be re-energized and become beacons of light once more.
    Thank you for sharing how God is in your life. May you continue to ask God to make you fruitful and to enjoy your garden and all the fruits of His labour and your own. Blessings.


    Yay for the new growth on the old tree. Thanks for sharing what happened and how it reminds us of changing and growing.

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