Monday, November 7, 2011

The Vine- John 15

5 “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. (John 15:5)


Do you ever wonder if you are bearing fruit when your dishes are piled the high and the laundry is never done?  It's ground-hog day once again for me!

It's then that I wonder if I am truly connected..................It's simple really the branch grows out of the lives there and has no responsibility except to RECEIVE the sap and nourishment from the root and stem.

It is days like these that seem so repetitive that I ask myself; "Am I really connected?"
If the sap is being received there will be fruit.  If there is no sap then there is NO CONNECTION! 

As I glide up the stairs to the tornado of the teens rooms..... I wonder if I will really miss this? Miss the emptying of the trash...........the making of beds..........the laundry that is never done.  Maybe it is me who is not the crucified with Christ!
Do I really want to be?   Who wants to stay the broken?
But HE has ordered our steps? So what have I sold my life out too?  Is it thingsA cleaner house?
Jesus poured the truth of God's word into his disciples...................and He sent the Holy Spirit from the Father. He was telling them how to stay connected.  Why is the flesh so strong? It is all out war-fare.
Do I really want to be connected?

There are 3 stages of fruit bearing:

1)  In stage one you are connected and are receiving sap but not fruit bearing like you should.
This is where 60-70 percent of all Christians stay!!!
This is also where you feed your even feel at times that something your doing is not right but you do it anyway....By your sin many are defiled.  The rebuking starts in this stage as well:

Hebrews 12: 5-6
My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a]

There is conviction in this stage and you may even stop for a while but discouragement rears it's ugly head.....and it's a cycle that never seems to end.

2)  In stage 2 is where the pruning happens....Testing can even become intense. Trails are brought your way by God himself as He does the pruning. He starts to cut away the temporal things in your life. He wants the eternal views instilled. He is saying:  "worship only me!"

Deuteronomy 5:7-8;

7 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.
8 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

Your habits you have developed over the years determine now determine your priorities.....You come to a fork in the road.......... which path will you take?  The eternal or the temporal?

This is where most Christians that have made it to this stage turn and run back to stage 1.  This is where we need to pray for God to plant our feet on solid ground!!! To remain before him BROKEN!
If you hang on this is where He will bring you out of the firey furnace as His Trophy of Grace!

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5: 19-21)

God is telling us to let go of our baggage!!! Sometimes I feel like I treasure my sin! I don't want to let go.

3) The last stage is all about the Savior. This is about you running to His arms and Him being FIRST in your life. This is about you being and not about doing!
This is where you finally SURRENDER!  Setting ourselves apart........guarding our hearts and our minds at all times.....with the eternal view in mind at all times! Most Christians will never experience the gift........of such PEACE.  This is where He gives us what we need...........not what we want!

Set today apart from other days...........say it out loud:  ABSOLUTE SURRENDER to you Lord is what I have choose!

God is trying to get our attention!!!

Let your surrender to Christ be absolute. Cry out!!! Time is short!

all of grace,

so thankful to God for:

the opportunity to be broken
crumbs on the floor
clogged toilets again
sun glistening through the trees
leaves changing colors
a pastor that teaches the word
friends that show up unexpected to visit your church
long talks after church with the teens
an extra hour of sleep