Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Wednesday, July 1

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” — John 15:5

Flourish

Mornings are sacred in my life. My routine is to wake up, read the Bible, pray and go outside for a jog. A few days ago I was running alongside a path on a wooded trail and I realized a lot of the trees were in full bloom, except for a few that had been cut down to the stump. Looking at the stumps I realized they can still regenerate new trees, but first the trunks and branches must be removed.

John says in Scripture that “apart from Me you can do nothing,” which means if we are not grounded in the foundation of Christ, we will not produce worthwhile fruit. Has God ever cut off the non-fruit bearing parts of your life, so much that all that remains is a stump?

He knows how to dig out the dark and dirty places inside of us. Places we often don’t even know exist. Continuously God is transforming and purifying my mind, body, heart and soul. It’ll be a never-ending process until the day I see Jesus face to face.

Shining light on the dark places of our life is not always the most comfortable process. It takes being firmly rooted in the Word of God and a constant conversation with Jesus. Growth requires Christian community to lean on. Cutting off limbs, trimming dead branches and hacking off normalcy can be a procedure. From this place of humility and dependence, we breathe a completely new life.

And God doesn’t stop once the trimming is done. The good news is, He is the best at rebuilding. Picture a seed in fertile ground. First, the seed is planted in sustainable dirt; the seed expands with tender love and nurturing care. Then, there’s a season to bud and blossom.

We’re not meant to just exist on this earth, we’re created to flourish on Earth as it is in Heaven. The only way to capture a life worth living is to be planted in the rich soil of Christ that leads to abundant crops.

Together with eyes set on Jesus we continually are transformed by love to love. I encourage us all to find deep roots in truth. By walking step by step with God, we experience a life that produces good fruit. What areas of your life has God trimmed? Where is He asking you to grow?

— Karlie Smith

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