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Celebrating 30 Years of March Retreat, Devotional #26

We hope by now you have received your 30-Day Devotional Guide created by your Flourish Committee. If you haven't, we may not have a correct address for you. You can find a printable pdf version of the Devotional on our website or at Over the next several months, we will be posting each devotional on our blog as well, helping us to celebrate this milestone throughout the year. Today's blog post commemorates the twenty-sixth year of the March Retreat.

#26 2017 Speakers: Gina Mueller Musicians: Women’s Worship Band Introducing: The Flourish Conference

Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

~Ephesians 1:11~

Isaiah tells the story about God’s care and provision. Isaiah 5:1-7 is a song about God’s vineyard. He chooses a piece of ground, builds a wall around it, and removes the briars and stones. He then plants a choice vine there and builds a wall of protection and a tower. In every way, God has chosen the exact right conditions for this vine to flourish.

Isaiah’s point in this song is that God’s people are meant to flourish. God has already “given us everything we need for a life of godliness,” exactly as He did for the vineyard in Isaiah’s song. Jesus later adapted this vineyard song in a parable against the Pharisees and scribes for rejecting the Messiah (see Mark 12 for example).

The point of each parable is that God has given us the condition in which to flourish, and He expects us to do it. Sin prevents us from flourishing. Sin is anti-flourishing; it is rottenness. And in the case of Isaiah’s and Jesus’s parable of the vineyard, there was no fruit. The barrenness came from the rejection of God’s ways. Jesus came to give us abundant life. He does this by inviting us into a life with Him, to be lived in His perfect way.

Lord, you see through us into our very heart. May it be pleasing in your sight. Help us to know your love and forgiveness. Deliver us from everything that hinders your life from spreading through every aspect of our lives. May you use us to build up your kingdom!

Thoughts to meditate on:

1. Am I flourishing? If not why?

2. What do I need to allow God to work on in my life so I can live an abundant life with Christ?

Author: Kathy Odegard

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