21 DAY CHALLENGE - Day 15
Day 15 – Deadhead(ing)
As a Freshman in college, a friend of mine and her family owned a Rhododendron garden – they even had their own species of Rhododendron that they had created from cross pollination. It was pretty crazy, but if I’m being honest…all of the plants seemed the same to me with some different variations of color. Shows how much I know about being a botanist. (I even had to look up the word, “botanist” – HA!)
While I may have not learned much about Rhododendrons or species, what I did catch onto was caring for these shrubs. In a term that I came to know as “deadheading”, I would walk through the garden with my friend and her family, and using our thumb nails, we would find the dead sprouts or flowers and pluck them out. The reason for deadheading is so that as the shrub draws nourishment from the soil and son it’s not working to give life to something that is lifeless. Instead, when you deadhead a plant or a bush or a shrub or a tree, in affect what you’re doing is helping that shrub to focus it’s nutrients and energies into the rest of the bush, limbs and sprouts that are active and alive and that can use the nutrients. It’s capitalizing on the good and getting rid of the bad.
In today’s reading Jesus talks about our lives in comparison to that of a tree. When we are rooted in God, we will draw our soil and son and nutrients from the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This is how we grow, which is HUGE for you and for me as we have been on this journey to grow in our faith. (I’m going to talk more about this in a minute).
The opposite, of course, is not being rooted in God but in the things of this world. When we draw our nutrients from unhealthy places, we will grow up withered and warped and well…dead. Jesus describes these types of branches this way: “If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” WOW! That seems pretty extreme, but when you think of it terms of deadheading, it makes complete sense.
In order to bear good, quality fruit (Galatians 5:22-24), it’s imperative that we are drawing our nutrients from Jesus, and we do this by growing in our relationship with Him – praying; reading the Bible; actively participating in church; worshiping God; accountability; and more. There are many, many ways for us to grow in our faith and produce good fruit; fruit that is useful to God and others. Without this kind of growth, we will eventually wither and waste away, and…well…die.
As you read John 15, ask yourself these questions…
1. What areas in my life do I need God to “deadhead” in me? 2. How can I better draw my nourishment from Jesus? 3. Who can I ask to come along side me to help me grow? 4. What questions do I have?
God, thank you for pruning me and giving me every opportunity to grow. Help me to become rooted in You more and more each day beginning with today. I pray that my life will bear fruit that will be useful to You and to others. Prune in me any area that is keeping me from the life that you’ve called me to live. Amen!
You can e-mail Pastor Andrew with any questions about this study: firstname.lastname@example.org