On a trip to Europe, we visited many sights along the Danube River.  Among these was the quaint little town of Durnstein, Austria surrounded by vineyards and apricot trees.As we stepped into the world of yesteryear, we experienced the delightful sight of lush green vineyards with beautiful growing grapes.  We were taught how the vines were carefully nurtured and lovingly cared for by generations of families.  Generation after generation had learned the art of caring for these precious vines and grew passionate for growing only the best grapes.                  
New vineyards are planted at the top of the hill on a slope from cuttings of older more mature plants explained a vineyard keeper from the area.  He was thrilled to explain that vines lasted

from 30 to 80 years and the older vines, the ones over 30 years of age, produced the best flavor. The vines are pruned so that dead diseased branches do not destroy the vine or keep it from producing much fruit. New plants are grafted from mature plants. This constant pruning and replanting keeps the vines and the vineyard alive. So it is that the vineyard is always in a stage of life: dying and replanting to new life. 

Our Christian life is under the careful watch of the vineyard keeper or gardener.  Our life is carefully designed as to where each plant is to be placed, grafted into families, places, careers, service, etc. that touch others and sometimes produce new life in Christ.  He nurtures us never leaving us alone; protects us from harm and things that are not according to his plan and yet still allowing us our freewill to make decisions for ourselves; provides sunshine and rain at just the right time; inspects those diseased spots and makes them known to us; dotes over us as a loving Father would do; and prunes to make sure we are healthy fruit and rid of blotches, disease of sin and worldly desires.  He provides a way for us to become that healthy fruit through sending us His Son Jesus to die and to be resurrected from the dead so that our sins would be forgiven for all of eternity.  He sends the Holy Spirit to live within us to give us guidance.  Jesus said this of His Father, Himself and His disciples:

 John 15:1-8 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful… “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

May you become a disciple that bears much fruit according to God’s plan for your life.