God’s Vineyard

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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What more could I have done for my vineyard that I have not already done? When I expected sweet grapes, why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?

Isaiah 5:4

In Isaiah 5, the people of Israel are portrayed as God’s vineyard, with God as the owner and tender of the vineyard. Even though God invested great effort, lovingly caring for his vineyard, it did not produce the fruit for which he had labored. Israel had failed to live rightly with God, turning from him to worship idols and to wallow in sin.

We belong to God through Christ, so we are his vineyard. Each individual Christian is a branch on the vine of Jesus (see John 15:1-8). Jesus shows us that we are to bear much fruit. Indeed, this is the sign of true discipleship.

I wonder if God looks upon us today and asks, “When I expected sweet grapes, why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?” When the church is snared by relativism, selfishness, and schism, are these not bitter grapes? When the lay people of God are not empowered and deployed into daily ministry, does this not shrink God’s rightful harvest?

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: As God looks upon his vineyard today, what might he say? Are you a fruit-bearing branch of Jesus, the vine? What is the fruit for God in your life?

PRAYER: Gracious God, as you did for Israel so many centuries ago, so you have done for your people today. You have tended us with love and care, giving us more than we need for fruitful living. Yet I fear our fruit is often not what you expect. We also produce bitter grapes . . . or no grapes at all. Forgive us, Lord.

Today I pray for your church in this world, that we might be abundantly fruitful for you. Thank you for places across the globe where your church is flourishing, especially in the Southern Hemisphere. Help those of us who are in hurting churches. May we return once again to Jesus, abiding in him, his truth and his love, so we might produce a generous harvest.

Help me, Lord, to be so deeply connected to you that I live fruitfully. May my life bring you honor as I extend your kingdom into my world. Amen.