August 3

Ezekiel 15:1-5

Dead wood

One day, the Lord asked Ezekiel, “What use is there for the wood of a dead vine? It can’t be used for carving something useful, and it doesn’t even make good firewood! Trees of the forest are much better for that.

When you do use it for firewood and the wood becomes charred, it is even more useless than before.

Just as a vine that does not bear fruit is cut up and burnt, so I will remove Jerusalem and punish the people because they have chosen to be unfaithful to me. I will turn their country into a desert.”

Am I bearing fruit?

We face many choices each day. Some choices are important, some are not. Some choices can be made for us; others can only be made by us. Some decisions can be changed, some cannot.

God’s people had made their choice—and it was an important choice. Unfortunately, it was the wrong choice. They had chosen to be unfaithful to God. They had not slipped up in a moment of weakness or temptation; they were stubbornly holding onto a sinful way of life. They had decided to worship idols, and their hearts were filled with greed instead of love for God.

A vine is not grown for its wood like a pine tree in the forest. A vine is grown to keep blessing people with its fruit year after year, while a tree is eventually chopped down for its wood.

Jesus said that God is the Gardener who cuts off every branch that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He cuts back so that it becomes even more fruitful (John 15:2). We have been chosen to bear fruit—not to end up as firewood!

Verse for today

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:19-20