This past weekend was beautiful when it comes to the weather. Which means, many of us went outside and did anything and everything we can think of. Maybe for you it was a first camping trip of the season, or mowing the yard for the first time, or maybe even washing the family truck finally. Whatever it was, it was outside. For me and Chancey, it was clearing some tree limbs and vines from the trees in our fence line. So, with the help of a church friend Steve, we got it done. Steve has some amazing skills, he climbed up those trees like it was second nature. He was equipped with a chainsaw and some sort of pole cutter, all attached to a climbing harness. I don’t know what we would have done without him. Thank you, Steve.
Through all that, I noticed how cluttered up the trees were and how they were being held back from their proper growth. Without the vines holding them down and clogging up the branches, the trees are now free to be what they were meant to be.
We have “vines” in our life that could clog us up and keep us from growing to our full potential. Jobs, hobbies, social media, sin and bad habits are just a few of the “vines” in our lives. The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, which was struggling with the same things we are. In his letter, he writes that we need to “get rid of” or “cast off” the things in our life we consider “vines”. Look at Ephesians 4:22-32; throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
I know that’s a lot to take in, but it’s truth we need to hear.
All of this seems overwhelming when you think about clearing the “vines” in your life. Just know you do not have to do it alone. Verse 21 of this chapter says; “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him”. Which means establishing a relationship with Jesus that is real and personal is where it all starts. I will be praying this week for everyone who reads this, whoever and wherever you are. My prayer will be that you discover Jesus in your life and find the solution for clearing the clutter in your life and begin growing to your full potential. Just like Chancey and I needed the help of Steve to clear our vines, Jesus is here to help you!