The Devotional Diva - New Beginnings
The Devotional Diva - New Beginnings
By Barbara Gobbs
Executive Assistant and Ministry Partner - Pocket Full of Change Ministries
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2 (NAS95)
Yesterday, Christians everywhere celebrated a new beginning. We proclaimed again the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is because of His resurrection that we can have a new beginning. That’s why some of us call ourselves “born again.” It marks a spiritually new birth or beginning in our life.
Easter is also a time we hope others will come to realize the awesome work of salvation that Christ came to complete. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles of grace and compassion, fiercely taught of His Father and a kingdom to come. When the time was right, Christ died on a cross as payment of our personal sin debt. He was the final and perfect sacrifice “once and for all.” (See Hebrews 10)
Then as proof of His power – both eternal and almighty – He rose again on the 3rd day. You have to admit, Buddha couldn’t pull that one off! Because of Easter – I have a new life and a new beginning – “The old things passed away; behold, new things have come!”
(II Cor. 5:17)
Who doesn’t like new things? This weekend I brought something new for the house. I wore a new suit to church yesterday. Our Easter service was a musical rendition of the sacred passion play. However, Brother Randall presented it in a fresh and new way – one that thrilled my heart. I love new!
Both my sister and my daughter are expecting new babies any day. The pond in our back yard boasts seven baby ducks and five baby geese. Our Crepe Myrtles are finally going green. It’s spring so a lot of new growth is taking place. Well except for one thing, the seemingly dead Hibiscus bush by the back fence.
Our daughter and son-in-law planted a small Hibiscus in the front yard several years ago. Boy, did they pick a great plant! It was often taller than the roofline and required constant cutting back. So a few months ago, we moved it to the back yard. Bob prepared a nice quiet corner where it could reach new heights and expand its horizons without interfering with our garage door.
Only, I think the move shocked it. It’s been bare and lifeless now for a while.
This morning I pondered over whether we needed to replace the poor thing. Then I noticed some small green shoots starting to make an appearance from the base of the plant. It’s alive! Hooray!
Then a new thought occurred. When we pruned it before the move, perhaps we should have cut it back further, allowing more room for this budding new growth. Thankfully, it’s not too late, so I will place that on Bob’s honey-do list.
Once again, another thought appeared. I was exactly like that Hibiscus. I’ve moved through some interesting circumstances lately. I know I’ve felt pruned. Yet I was missing new growth. My mind wondered if I needed replacement with something totally new!
For mortal man and woman, every day brings something new into our environment. Sometimes we flourish without missing a beat. Other times, we suffer shock so the growth is slow and isn’t always obvious. Perhaps we thought we’d been sufficiently pruned, when we only stood before the Lord long enough to receive a quick haircut. Maybe, we just need pruning back to a greater degree to allow our new growth room for expansion.
While in Christ we have a new life and a new beginning, everything new is subject to wear and tear, including our lives. Pruning keeps us fresh and viable for Kingdom purposes.
The next time you and I feel the Father clipping at a dead twig; let’s offer Him the whole branch. It will require humility and a willing heart. It probably will even hurt some. Nevertheless, if we let the promise of more fruit overcome our human desire, then we can boldly repeat the words Christ, “Not my will but Thy will be done.” And since God is faithful - so it shall!
Out with the old and in with the NEW!
Barbara Gobbs is a ministry partner with and the Executive Assistant of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information, to schedule a speaker for an event, or to request a newsletter, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Gail Golden, Publicist at 904 316-5462. This ministry is supported by donations. If this ministry helps you or others, and God calls you to help support this work, you can make a donation to Pocket Full of Change Ministry at POB 51205, Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32240.
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