Feb 25, 2024
The Glory Of Abiding (John 15:8)
Have you ever tasted a delicious grape or some other piece of fruit that was especially tasty? Chances are that if you have, you didn’t burst out in praise for a branch that the fruit grew on. You might have declared how much you like the variety of fruit, complimented the person who selected it, or commended the farm that it came from, but you probably gave very little thought to the last component in the process that produced the fruit, the branch. The branches get little praise because they have done little to deserve any praise.
This raises an important question: one that our entire life hinges on. Who should get the praise for any good thing that comes from our lives? In the illustration of the vine and the branches, Jesus has made it clear that when we abide in Him through close, consistent fellowship, we will bear spiritual fruit because His life will be flowing through us and working in us to produce godly actions and attitudes. In John 15:8, Jesus states, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” Jesus is the vine, and the Father is the Husbandman. The Father is the one who prunes and purges to make the branches best able to bear good fruit. So logically, the one who should get the final credit for the quality and quantity of the fruit should be the Father.
God should get all the praise for any good in our lives. We have nothing good to offer apart from God. We will accomplish nothing good without God. Only when our lives are filled with good fruit and giving God the glory He deserves are we living as faithful disciples of Jesus.
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  • Feb 25, 2024The Glory Of Abiding (John 15:8)
    Feb 25, 2024
    The Glory Of Abiding (John 15:8)
    Have you ever tasted a delicious grape or some other piece of fruit that was especially tasty? Chances are that if you have, you didn’t burst out in praise for a branch that the fruit grew on. You might have declared how much you like the variety of fruit, complimented the person who selected it, or commended the farm that it came from, but you probably gave very little thought to the last component in the process that produced the fruit, the branch. The branches get little praise because they have done little to deserve any praise.
    This raises an important question: one that our entire life hinges on. Who should get the praise for any good thing that comes from our lives? In the illustration of the vine and the branches, Jesus has made it clear that when we abide in Him through close, consistent fellowship, we will bear spiritual fruit because His life will be flowing through us and working in us to produce godly actions and attitudes. In John 15:8, Jesus states, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” Jesus is the vine, and the Father is the Husbandman. The Father is the one who prunes and purges to make the branches best able to bear good fruit. So logically, the one who should get the final credit for the quality and quantity of the fruit should be the Father.
    God should get all the praise for any good in our lives. We have nothing good to offer apart from God. We will accomplish nothing good without God. Only when our lives are filled with good fruit and giving God the glory He deserves are we living as faithful disciples of Jesus.
  • Feb 21, 2024Promotion From The Lord (1 Samuel 18:1-5)
    Feb 21, 2024
    Promotion From The Lord (1 Samuel 18:1-5)
    Self promotion will always be a temptation for anyone that has a desire to succeed. We will be
    tempted to be impatient and take matters into our own hands to advance ourselves. We must trust
    God to lift us however high He wants us to go and to do it in His time. Likewise, we should be
    content to be as small as God wants for as long as He wants. “For promotion cometh neither from
    the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and
    setteth up another.” (Psalms 75:6-7)
    In God’s time, He began to exalt David, putting him on a trajectory that would culminate with
    becoming king. It was not David’s scheming and manipulation that brought about his advancement.
    It was God’s promotion. In 1 Samuel 18:1-5, we read of three ways that God blessed and promoted
    David from a little known, small town shepherd to a well known leader of the nation. God blessed
    David with a princely friend in Jonathan, with prestigious employment in the service of king Saul,
    and with public acceptance by people from all classes. True promotion only comes from God,
    therefore we must be content with the position God has put us in and trust God to advance us if,
    when, and how He chooses.
  • Feb 18, 2024Secrets We Don’t Know (Deuteronomy 29:29)
    Feb 18, 2024
    Secrets We Don’t Know (Deuteronomy 29:29)
  • Feb 18, 2024Abiding Through Prayer And Bible Reading (John 15:7)
    Feb 18, 2024
    Abiding Through Prayer And Bible Reading (John 15:7)
    We have learned that abiding in Christ means remaining in close, consistent fellowship with Him. It is living in complete dependence on Him for all things at all times because you realize that apart from Him, you can do nothing, and you are a branch that will wither and come to a wasted end.
    But what does abiding look like in practice? What actions and behaviors demonstrate an attitude of dependence on Christ? John 15:7 is Jesus’ answer to such a question. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Abiding in Christ looks like a healthy intake of God’s word and continual prayerfulness.
    Could reading your Bible and praying be that important, or is emphasizing those spiritual disciplines a form of legalism? While it is possible to read your Bible and pray legalistically, it is not legalistic to acknowledge that Jesus said a person who is abiding in him will have His words abiding in them, and they will be praying.
    Abiding in Christ is expressed and maintained by a constant intake of the word of God and continual prayerfulness. If you believe you are dependent on Christ, then you will go to His word, the source of spiritual nourishment, regularly. If you believe that you can do nothing without Him, you will often go to Him in prayer “to find grace to help in time of need. If you are not reading your Bible and praying, you are wandering from the Vine, and you will wither.
  • Feb 11, 2024You Can’t Hide It (Joshua 7:1-26)
    Feb 11, 2024
    You Can’t Hide It (Joshua 7:1-26)
     
  • Feb 11, 2024The Barren Branches (John 15:6)
    Feb 11, 2024
    The Barren Branches (John 15:6)
    In John 15:2, Jesus said the Father would remove the unfruitful branches from the Vine. The unfruitful branch is the Christian who does not live as a dependent on Jesus and who is not walking in consistent, close fellowship. That Christian is still saved, but there is a loss of fellowship and fruitfulness. They are a barren branch.
    John 15:6 gives us more insight into the fate of barren branches. First, there is a wandering. This separation results from our choice to break fellowship with Christ and live independently. We are not “walk[ing] in the light, as he is in the light,” and we do not “have fellowship one with another.” (1 John 1:7)
    Withering is the natural result when the branch is separated from the Vine. The life-giving sap of the Vine no longer flows into the branch, so it loses its moisture and becomes dry and fragile, like “the chaff which the wind driveth away.” (Psalm 1:4)
    The final result will be a branch that is wasted. It will be gathered with all the other debris and burnt with the rest of the rubbish. Jesus is not warning of death in hell. He is warning of a worthless end. As Paul said, “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:15)
    This verse is a warning to every Christian. You must choose to abide in Christ. If you do not, your life will be unfruitful, dry, and fragile. The longer you refuse to abide in Christ, the more of your life you are wasting. Don’t be a barren branch. Abide in Christ, and His life will flow through you into fruitfulness.
  • Feb 7, 2024A Cause Worth Fighting For (1 Samuel 17:11-29)
    Feb 7, 2024
    A Cause Worth Fighting For (1 Samuel 17:11-29)
    For anyone to put themselves in danger, especially a life or death situation, they must have a
    good reason for it. David understood that the glory of God was at stake, and that was the best
    reason to get in the fight. When we face the enemy with faith-filled courage, God gives us victory,
    and the rewards will be blessings for us and the glory of God.
  • Feb 4, 2024More Tools Than a Hammer (I Thessalonians 5:14)
    Feb 4, 2024
    More Tools Than a Hammer (I Thessalonians 5:14)
  • Feb 4, 2024The Produce of Abiding (John 15:5)
    Feb 4, 2024
    The Produce of Abiding (John 15:5)
    “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
    When a person trusts Christ as their Savior, he is placed in Christ, and Christ dwells in them so that His eternal life flows into and through us. Our eternal destiny is secure because of our position in Christ, but how His life manifests itself in our lives depends on our choices. We have to maintain a constant awareness of our total dependency on Christ.
    When you are “abiding” in Christ with consistent, close fellowship, Jesus promises that we will bring “forth much fruit.” Your life will overflow with actions and attitudes that God produces in and through you. This will not be a result of your works but of God’s working in your life.
    If you are not abiding in Christ, then the opposite will be true. Jesus said, “For without me ye can do nothing.” Nothing good and beneficial, that is. A dead branch only produces rot, disease, and trash that you must pick up from your yard and dispose of. This is what our life is like when we are trusting in our flesh instead of living in dependence on Christ: a dead, worthless branch.
    Abiding in Christ ensures that our Christian life is vibrant and fulfilling. Not every Christian experiences that kind of life, but every Christian can experience it if they will live in consistent, close fellowship with Christ.
  • Jan 28, 2024Addicted to the Ministry (1 Corinthians 16:15)
    Jan 28, 2024
    Addicted to the Ministry (1 Corinthians 16:15)
  • Jan 28, 2024Abide in Me (John 15:4)
    Jan 28, 2024
    Abide in Me (John 15:4)

    In John 15:4, Jesus said, “Abide in me.” Those words form the only command found in the entire lesson on the vine and branches. Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches, meaning that Jesus is our only source of spiritual life, and we are totally dependent on Him. For Christ’s life to flow through us unhindered, we must maintain our vital connection to Him, purposely living in total dependence on Him. When we do, Jesus reassures us that He will abide in us. His life will be in us and flow through us.

    We must abide in Him. That is the one command he gave and the one responsibility we have in the relationship. Everything that comes from our lives will be Jesus working in and through us to produce the fruit He wants to see.

    Too often, Christians try to live independently of Christ. They attempt to reform themselves instead of letting God conform them into Christ’s image. They perform religious rituals instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in them. They depend on their willpower and discipline to change their behavior more than they depend on Christ to strengthen and enable them. 

    The result of not abiding in Christ is frustration and failure. Jesus reiterated this fact when he said, “ As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” We cannot succeed in anything that truly matters unless we abide in Christ. 

  • Jan 24, 2024David’s First Royal Assignment (1 Samuel 16:1-14)
    Jan 24, 2024
    David’s First Royal Assignment (1 Samuel 16:1-14)
    Whatever God calls us to do, we can be certain that God has already give us all the preparation we need to do the task. We may feel like we are inadequate, and the truth is that without God we are. We must determine to always do our best by the grace of God and for the glory of God.
  • Jan 21, 2024Compromising Christianity (1 Samuel 13:9)
    Jan 21, 2024
    Compromising Christianity (1 Samuel 13:9)
  • Jan 21, 2024The Pruning Shears of Scripture (John 15:3)
    Jan 21, 2024
    The Pruning Shears of Scripture (John 15:3)

    As the Heavenly Husbandman tends His vineyard, He frequently prunes the branches. The process involves discarding the unfruitful branches and trimming the fruitful branches so they can bear more fruit in the future. In John 15:3, Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” The Bible is the Father’s tool to prune and purge the branches.

    To prune a vine, a vinedresser has to come close and put the pruning shears in contact with the branches. Force is then applied, and cuts are made. For God’s word to do this kind of pruning work in us, there must be regular contact with the Bible. The healthy branch understands the need for pruning and submits to it, but the unfruitful branch fears the pruning and avoids it.

    A proper relationship to God’s word is essential, then, to abiding in Christ. If His words do not abide in you, then you are not abiding in Him. (John 15:7) If His words are abiding in you, then they will have a sanctifying effect on your life. God uses His word to show us sinful attitudes and actions and selfish thoughts and desires so that we might remove them through repentance and confession. No other tool can accomplish what the Bible does. No writings of man, no self-help seminary, and no secular TED Talks will do what God’s word can do for you. It is a hammer that chips away the rough edges of our hard hearts. It is a sword that cuts clean to our innermost being, even revealing motives and thoughts we might not have acknowledged were there.

  • Jan 17, 2024David, God’s Chosen Man (1 Samuel 1:1-13)
    Jan 17, 2024
    David, God’s Chosen Man (1 Samuel 1:1-13)
    When we first meet David in 1 Samuel 16, he is a young man, probably just at teenager, who was all but forgotten by his family. God had a plan for David, and even though he may not have been man’s first choice, he was God’s chosen man.