Bitter Fruit

“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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
John 15:5‭-‬6 NIV

Ever sit back and realize that you’re attempt at abiding in the Word and in God has failed and your fruit while its hanging from the vine its got a bitter taste and a weakened aroma. Yeah some days I’m that mom. I’m that wife, that friend, that daughter, that sister; I’m that Christian. 

Its not that I ever disbelieve or intentionally pull away from my relationship with God or the calling on my own life. I am a woman of God, deeply involved in ministry, who loves her kids and friends with a fire. I am a workhorse, get it done, kind of girl. That said I’m busy 90% of the time and in the down 10% I’m pretty certain I’m unconscious.

Through a lack of prioritizing and discipline to what is the most important relationship in my life, there are days even weeks that I find myself so busy that I am scheduling time with God briefly around my life. Common problem right? I’m certain it is. I mean, the alarm goes off, five snoozes later I’m in a rush that leads to an outburst about running late. The kids are frazzled. The chores are half done. The coffee pot is full and not drank from and the Word is left uncracked. Sound familiar?

I’m here not to look down on your beautiful chaotic mess of a schedule. Rather I want to encourage you.

You are not alone, the struggle is real.

Failing is the only road to succeeding, but you have to keep moving forward.

Change is possible and feasible you just have to be determined.

Again failure is not the end of the world, hit reset and try again.

When you mess up, own it. Teachable moments come put of our own setbacks.
Now as far as abiding goes, I’m gonna preach to the choir. If I’m only writing this to remind myself of where my victory will be then its worth writing. Relationships are built. Moment upon moment. Conversation upon conversation. Memory upon memory.

You don’t wake up in love with someone you don’t know.

Your relationship with God, the single most important, life sustaining, fruit producing, vital to your own victory, relationship is no different. It needs to be nurtured. To abide is to draw in, to draw near. You must draw near to God, in prayer, in reading, in worship, and in faith if you expect to have a relationship that produces fruit. If not well the vine will wither and your fruit will be bitter. Worse the fruit may die.

But today I stand and say don’t let that happen. Schedule your life around God. Set Him above all else. Don’t let work’s cleaning, Facebook, or your kids become your God. Take 5 minutes to pray. Call it a time out. Stop hitting snooze and allow yourself a little quiet alone time before the hustle of life begins. Take a walk and pray. Listen to the Word on your commute. Connect with other Christians. Be determined to make a way.

Never give up. Never stop moving forward. Remember that the love of God is not earned its already paid for. You cannot remove yourself from the unconditional love of God. You’re never too far away becaise He is always there. Today is a new day and right now is a fresh start. Cast your burdens on Him and seek His grace, mercy, and forgiveness. He will make you new in a moment that will change your life forever.

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