Staying Useful

The word of the LORD came to me:  “Son of man, how is the wood of a vine better than that of a branch on any of the trees in the forest? Is wood ever taken from it to make anything useful? Do they make pegs from it to hang things on? Ezekiel 15:1-3 (KJV)

I like this passage in Ezekiel 15, as it pertains to every one of us as a disciple of Jesus Christ. God is basically saying, “What is the wood from the vine good for apart from the vine?  Can anything useful be made from it?”  In other words, “What good are we apart from God?”  We can see the answer to this question being taught by Jesus as recorded in the Book of John. 

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NKJV)

So in essence, we (The branches) are of no value apart from Jesus (The Vine), unless we are cleaved to Him.  It is through our association and union in Him that we have life in our spirit.  Every good fruit coming from us ultimately comes from the Lord. 

We are told, “God is the vinedresser “ (John 15:1).  He is the loving gardener caring for the vineyard.  It is He who takes great care of each branch, constantly pruning it and cleaning it so it can bear much fruit (John 15:2).  

In Israel some of the worlds best grapes are grown in what is known as the Eschol valley.  Their grapevines are mostly on the ground—this is in contrast to how the grapes are grown here in America.  As the grapes spread out, you would see a large trunk and the branches lying on the hard ground.  As the grapes progress in developing, the gardener will then lift the end of the vine up and prop it on a rock to keep the grapes out of the mud.  He cleans the grapes so they develop to their full potential.

This is exactly the way God cares for us, as we are His branches joined in the vine of Christ.  He lifts us up, taking special care to clean us with His word—making sure we have good fruit to show for our abiding in the vine of His son.

It is important for us to know, that we can in no way produce good fruit on our own; it is simply a byproduct of staying connected to Jesus.  As we spend time with Jesus reading and studying our bible, praying with Him, and fellowshipping with other believers, we are fed; this in turn produces healthy fruit in our lives.  The cool part is, this fruit will last for eternity, and is unlike any other manifested work we may attempt to do on our own apart from God.  Any other work is simply wood, stubble and hay. 

We can be confident that we can be useful wood, because we have been grafted into the vine when we accepted Jesus (Rom. 11:17). We can receive nourishment from our Lord through the Holy Spirit and His Word, and this will then produce great fruit, which ultimately glorifies God.  I want to encourage you to stay connected to the Lord daily.

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures contained in this devotional, what good is the wood of a vine, (the branch) separate from the vine?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you seeing the fruit in your life that God intends (See Galatians 5:22)?  Are you staying connected to the Vine?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:  Walk daily with the Lord, talking to Him about everything.  Choose to make Him your best friend.  Choose to be committed to reading the Word and let The Lord produce good healthy fruit in your life.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:Father, Thanks for being The Great Gardener, and for caring for me as Your beloved child.  Thank You for lifting me up out of the miry clay and cleaning me up. Thanks for allowing me to be grafted into Your family and allowing me to be a part of Your vineyard.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


Be Blessed, Pastor Scott


Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000