Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Vine And The Squash Bugs

Hi Friends,

Today I read a devotion by Dennis Rainey. Dennis and Barbara Rainey have a ministry and website called Family Life. Through that ministry, I receive daily devotions for couples called “Moments With You”. In today’s devotion Dennis posed the question, “Are You Really Bible Based?” Challenging us to think about, if we could lead a discussion on what the Bible says about marriage. Could you and your spouse sit down with a group of couples, and talk about what Biblical marriage looks like from Scripture? How does the Bible tell us to raise our children? What are God’s purposes for our marriages? Then make this discussion last hours not minutes? Dennis Rainey contends that most churchgoers could only last minutes. Think about it.

Then he asked us to look at John 15:1&4
1.“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

In these verses Jesus is saying that He is the vine and we, as His children, are the branches. He tells us to “abide” in Him. Abiding is more than being, it is dwelling, drawing strength and nourishment from. While you are abiding you are growing. Just as the branch is growing and drawing its strength and nutrition from the vine, we are to be doing the same from Jesus.

I did something this year I have never done before. I planted a garden. My mom can grow anything! I, on the other hand, seem to have a black thumb. Well, I planted everything you can imagine in a 4x4 raised garden bed. It was going GREAT! I had a beautiful garden!

I was gone for 2 weeks house sitting for my mom while she was on a mission trip to Canada with her church. My husband tended my garden. When I returned. The garden had doubled in size! He did an AMAZING job!
In the middle-back is squash, all big and beautiful!

A few days later I found this ugly creature on my corn! OH NO! What is it and what am I to do?

So I researched and discovered that he is a Squash Bug. What he does is gets on your squash, and pumpkins (he got on my corn), and sucks out the nutrients. Then he injects a toxic saliva that causes wilting, yellowing, and death of the plant. Unfortunately, once you see them, it’s basically too late. My understanding is, you have to prevent them, or kill the eggs. Anyway, this is what my garden looks like now. 
Top left and bottom right are both squash. They are the same plants as above. The one on the left was twice that size until the squash bugs got ahold of it. :( 

I have picked one big squash, and as you can see I do have another growing. I have found something that seems to be helping kill the bugs. Hopefully the plants will rally. I keep working at it!

The point of the story is, we are just like the garden. If we are not on watch at all times, the world (Satan), creeps in and attacks us. Sucks out our nutrients, robbing us of the good things that Jesus could be filling us with, and fills us with His toxins, thoughts and ideas of this world. Then the vinedresser, or gardener (God the Father) has to come along, after we repent, and fix us. He begins feeding us from his word giving us special attention when we should have been strong enough to grow straight from the vine, but we let the Devil in.

So today I hope this is a reminder to keep our focus on Jesus. Abide in Him! Sometimes I think we forget how quickly we can fall.

I Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The contrast is the peace Jesus brings when we are focused on Him!!!

Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Living in Grace,