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zVIIsaiah5;1-2

Disciples Are God’s Vineyard

Isaiah 5:1-2
My beloved
had a vineyard
on a rich and fertile hill.
He secured the land,
removed its stones,
and planted it with the best vines.
In the middle of the vineyard
he built a watchtower
and carved a winepress
in the nearby rocks.
Then he waited
for a harvest of sweet grapes.
But
the vineyard produced
only wild, bitter grapes.

 

IMAGE DETAILS
Disciples Are God’s Vineyard
Szabo Sketch
The Vineyard Initiative
Art By:  Andy Szabo

 

THE VINEYARD INITIATIVE 

The Vineyard Initiative is a seven
step process for becoming an
effective disciple of Jesus Christ.
Followed faithfully, these seven
action steps help God’s Kids
discover who God is and who
he created them to be.

We find these steps recorded
in the fifth chapter of The Book
of Isaiah in a brief parable entitled,
“The Song of The Lord’s Vineyard.”
Before this song is introduced to us,
the four preceding chapters of
Isaiah describe how God’s Kids
no longer recognized God’s voice
or his care; how they had continually
failed to seek justice and serve
one another.  Simply put, God’s Kids
had forgotten how much God loved
them, and how important it is that
we love each other.

This parable serves as a constant
reminder of how, at any time, we
may return to the work and the
wonder of a life lived for Christ;
of how to rediscover who God is
and who he created us to be.

And we may be encouraged by
timelessness of this parable as
Jesus himself quoted it on multiple
occasions (Matthew 21, Mark 12,
Luke 20, John 15) when rebuking
the religious leaders of his day for
precisely how they had failed to
teach God’s people the two most
basic elements of discipleship:
who God is, and who he created us
to be.   The vineyard parable serves
as a simple description of the
necessary steps required to
establish the environment required
to establish a healthy relationship
with the Lord.
Based on this environment,
and more importantly,
the actions required to create
and maintain such an environment,
we see that effective discipleship
can occur in seven practical
action steps.

Isaiah 5 is the first time in Scripture
that God refers to his people as
a vineyard.  It also explains the
seven, simple actions necessary
for the care and cultivation of a
productive vineyard.

The rich and fertile hill described
in the first line of this parable
represents God’s love.  Living in
God’s love means living a life of
purpose and blessing.  When we
recognize this life and we find
ourselves desiring it, the first and
most important step is to simply
receive it.

Second, the gift of God’s love
must be set apart and protected
so that it may have a chance to
take root.  Then, any potential
stones or stumbling blocks that
would prevent the vineyard from
bearing fruit must be removed
so that the vineyard may be
planted with the best seed,
which is the Word of God.
Once God’s Word begins to grow
, a foundation of faith is
built and opportunities to
use God’s gifts to bless others
begin to appear.  And because the
fruitfulness of any living thing
depends completely upon God,
the faithful art of waiting will need
to be developed all along the way.

These seven action steps, these
verbs of discipleship, are
timeless, trusted, and true.
Jesus himself references this
parable numerous times in the
New Testament when challenging
the church leaders of his day for
how they should rightly train God’s
people to know and live for him.

We pray that you will receive your
invitation into the adventure of
God’s desires for your life, and that
as you grow to know him more and
more, you will come to understand
how wide, how long, how high,
and how deep his love is for you. 

  ~Justin & The Sevenapples Team

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