July 9
Isaiah 5:1-7

The vineyard

God called Isaiah to tell the people that He loved them and that He would send a Savior—someone who would save the world from sin. The Lord spoke through Isaiah, the first prophet to the people of Judah, saying, “Listen as I sing you a song about my friend and his vineyard:

My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hill; 
He built a winepress and tower.
He planted and pruned the vines with skill,
But every last grape was sour!”

Israel was the vineyard of the Lord and the people were the vines He had planted. The Lord of the vineyard expected the very best because He had done everything He could, but the sin of the people made the grapes sour.

How can I keep from turning sour?

Do you like eating lemons? If you do, then you would probably like sour grapes too! However, most people plant a vine to get tasty, sweet grapes; and if they do want something sour, they may plant a lemon tree as well. But imagine if you wanted to enjoy a glass of sweet grape juice and it tasted awfully sour. Pull a face to show how disgusted you would be.

We can become sour by having a wrong attitude (like not forgiving someone). But sour people are not friendly, happy people. If you are struggling to be sweet, ask Jesus to prune away those things in your life that keep you from bearing good fruit. As you live in the sunshine of God’s love and let the Holy Spirit’s goodness flow into you, you will please Jesus—the Gardener of your life—and be a blessing to many as well.

Verse for today

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. … Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-2