River Run recently completed our second outing in our four part study series of the Secrets of the Vine, a book by Bruce Wilkinson. We traveled much of downeast Maine with this outing. We were, again, inspired by the beauty of the fall foliage season and by the Word of God. This week’s focus was on how God, the Father, disciplines us so we will bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit. A key text was found in a passage found in Hebrews 12:5-11. See below.
Two additional outings are planned this fall. We hope to post updates as this series continues.
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:5-11 (NKJV)
As we traveled out Rte. 9 toward Calais, we made a stop.
We learned that, as Christians, if we do not bear fruit, God will step in. Sometimes He needs to lift us up and clean us off first, just like a vinedresser does to a branch that has been lying on the ground and is covered with dirt.
We continued our journey, enjoying lunch along the St. Croix River.
Our second study stop was overlooking a part of the Gulf of Maine that can be seen from the Quoddy Point State Park.
We learned that God’s discipline will intensify if we reject His correction. At first, it might be heard in that wee small voice found within us. We decided we would prefer to accept God’s correction at this point, rather than finding we need further discipline in the form of “chastening” or “scourging” from God.
Our final study stop for the day was at Roque Bluffs.
As we watched the sun set on the western horizon, we realized that God has given us the freedom to choose to obey Him and accept His discipline. With this freedom come blessings or consequences. May we choose obedience.