bible, Faith, grace, Walking in the Spirit

Abide in the Vine

In John Chapter 15, Jesus gives a parable about a vineyard.

He says that he is the true vine, the Father is the Farmer and his disciples are the branches.

Just as a branch cannot produce fruit without the vine neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.

Every branch in Jesus Christ is pruned so that it will produce fruit. No fruit can be produced without pruning.

Pruning is a part of growing in the Lord. Pruning requires taking away the old so that the new will grow.

This process can be painful. We are set in our ways and don’t like change. But in order to produce Holy Spirit fruit in our lives we must yield to the pruning process. Out with the old man filled with dry old ways of doing things and yielding to the sharp pruning tools of the Father.

Jesus tells us to abide in him. Continue in his word which is able to make us into what the Lord wants us to be. Filled with Holy Spirit fruit!

Just as a vine cannot produce fruit by itself neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.

If we continue in the Lord we will produce much fruit.

Pruning the vine every spring just before growth begins allows the branches to have enough air movement around them to reduce disease.

Heavy pruning of the vine provides the best fruit.

While pruning may be needed throughout the year, pruning is best done when the vine is dormant, just before growth begins in spring.

Dormancy is when the plant slows down. Its metabolism, energy consumption, and growth are at a slow pace.

Sometimes when we seem to be inactive, placed on the shelf, that is when the pruning happens. Our lives in a winter stage while seeming to be going no where are in reality being pruned.

Reflection. Repentance. Seeking the Lord. Searching for answers. Giving up of sin. Intense prayer. Dying to self.

The winter stage many times can be rough going but harsh winters with much pruning produce a great harvest of fruit.

In order for a grape vine to flourish it must have plenty of sun shine. In the same way we must have plenty of Holy Spirit saturation.

If a vine has little light it will eventually dry up and die.

In his presence is fullness of joy. We get inspired in God’s presence, strengthened and empowered.

Being in the sun reduces pest problems too. That old devil and his varmints hate the light. The more light the less devil problems.

The vine also needs plenty of water for the roots to grow and expand deep into the ground. The branches can’t produce a healthy life flow without plenty of the water.

Being watered with the word makes us grow in the Lord.

Without the water of the word our roots will shrivel and die or at the very least be stunted in growth.

Roots need to be soaked in water before planting. This is significant because a vine produces healthy branches only after a deep saturation.

The more of the word we are saturated in, the more we become grounded in the truth. It is hard to dig up deep rooted plants.

It is interesting to note that a grapevine needs some type of support system or the branches will trail along the ground. In the same way we need support to grow properly. Without proper support the Lord’s disciples will become bogged down, carrying a lot of burden.

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Another important factor in a healthy vineyard is to weed constantly. If weeds grow under the grape vine the soil temperature will stay cooler. This will delay growth.

The cares of this life if not dealt with will choke the branches from receiving life from the vine. We need to hoe out all those worldly cares and troubles. Being diligent to guard our hearts against anything that will clog up our spiritual life.

Jesus tells us that if we continue in him then we will be fruitful but if not then we will wither and possibly die.

A healthy branch abides in the vine and produces much fruit!

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. John 15:7-9

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grace, Holiness, Walking in the Spirit

Godly Sorrow

The Bible says that godly sorrow works repentance not to be repented of again. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Godly Sorrow

In other words if our repentance comes from godly sorrow then we will have victory over that sin and there will be no need to keep falling and then being sorry all over again.

True repentance stops sinning. If the sin persists then there was no true repentance. Let me explain.

We can be sorry for our sin. Feel bad about it, and even shed tears over it but unless God works godly sorrow into our hearts we will keep falling under that sin again.

Worldly or human sorrow works death the Bible says. In other words being sorrow from a human perspective does not produce godliness. Rather it brings condemnation, guilt, depression. Not godly reformation.

How do we get this godly sorrow?

Let’s take a look at a classic case in scriptures.

Esau was not granted repentance even though he was sorry. Why? Esau was a carnal man. He did not value his birth right from a spiritual perspective.

He was sorry for losing all the benefits associated with loosing his inheritance but he did not value the spiritual position of his inheritance, that his line was to be a godly line bringing forth the Messiah.

When Esau realized what he had done by allowing his carnal lust to steal his birth right he was sorry. However, his sorry was not godly sorrow. His sorry was worldly sorrow.

Esau was sorry that he lost his blessing. He was sorry that he allowed his brother to deceive him. He was sorry that he got caught being a carnal man. Red handed. His lust for carnal things rather than spiritual things was made evident and public. Esau was sorry for that.

What Esau was not sorry for was his disregard for spiritual matters. He regarded the man of this world as ideal and not the realm of his spiritual inheritance.

Esau was not granted repentance even though he was sorry. Why? Esau was a carnal man. He did not value his birth right from a spiritual perspective.

How many of us have been like that? We prefer the world’s ideas, the world’s blessings, the world’s knowledge and positions far more than spiritual realities.

What about Jacob? What did Jacob value?
Jacob wanted the spiritual inheritance so bad that he resorted to deceptive means to get it.

The first born birth right did not belong to him. He knew the only way to get it was to use trickery.

He was aware that Esau did not value what he had. He lived for the now. Not for eternal things. Jacob on the other hand did value the Messianic lineage and all the spiritual benefits associated with the first born inheritance.

So because Esau pursued carnal things instead of spiritual things he suffered a great loss.

Even though Jacob was a wet behind the ears young man and second in line he was so envious of Esau’s’ position that he did not care if he has to rail road his brother to get it.

Ever known a zealous person like that? One who is so annoying with spiritual matters that they go around upsetting everybody’s apple cart? Look out here they come! Showing us up! Making us look bad! Spiritual zealots upsetting our status quo apple carts!

This is the key to godly sorrow working repentance not to be repented of again.

When we value our spiritual inheritance we will want to give up everything to attain the blessings attached to that inheritance.

Carnal things are cast aside no matter what we have to do to get rid of them.

If that means going through the fire of the Holy Spirit then that’s what we have to do.

See if their be any wicked way in me and deal with it David said. (Psalm 139:23-24)

Godly sorrow comes when we seek the Lord and he reveals our sin to us. When he shows us what our sin really is.

When the Lord shows us by his Holy Spirit how our sin affects others and the damage it does to ourselves we see it in a new light. With a new perspective.

All of a sudden that sin don’t seem so good. We see how it grieves the Lord and because our hearts value spiritual things above the things of this world we come into a place where godly sorrow comes. We mourn over our bad attitudes, our bad habits, our bad witness.

We see our sin the way God sees it and we want to get rid of it but quick!

When we know the truth about our sin and we want to be set free from it then the Lord will bring his deliverence. He will change our hearts and grant us repentance.

When we desire to please the Lord we will get things right. Say sorry when we need to and make restitution too. (2 Corinthians 7)

We will with godly passion set about interceeding for those who have hurt us, being loving to disagreeable people, and patient with those who have annoyed us.

Godly sorrow works repentance. Repentance is turning away from sin and being reformed by the Holy Spirit.

True repentance will come to those who value spiritual blessings above any thing this world has to offer.

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evangelism, salvation

Are You Saved?

Are you saved? You might ask yourself, “What do I need saving from?” The first thing every one needs saving from is the wrath of God. What? You mean God is mad at me?

God is mad at behaviors that are destructive. Both to us and to others. Would you like to invite an infected person with a contagious disease to take up residence in your house? I did not think so.

Destructive behaviors are corrupting. God calls it sin or a disease of the heart. You might say to yourself. “Well I’m not that bad! There are worst people than me out there!”

While that may be true, you are still infected. Just one little symptom! One little bad deed. One little bad thought. One little bad attitude is enough to disqualify you from God’s presence both now and eternally.

Ever wonder why you do not see God or hear from God or feel God? Ever wonder why you feel condemned deep in your heart no matter what achievements you attain in life? Its because you have that dreaded spiritual disease!

The Bible says that sin separates us from God! Unless you are inoculated with a spiritual antibody you are toast!! Sounds harsh but well, life is harsh. Sugar coat it all you want to, but the reality is life is not so easy. This world is full of all kinds of dangers. All kinds of really horrible things!

God has the answer for your situation no matter what it is. You need God to save you! Yes, you need to be preserved and delivered from ruin! You need to be saved from God’s wrath!

So, if you need saving then it only stands to reason that you need a Saviour!

Who you may wonder can save if we all need saving? The answer is God himself. Once God gives you his inoculation then you can be disease free! You can have relationship with God both in this life and in eternity!

Jesus is God who took on human form. He became the antibody for sin. If you receive Jesus, then you can be accepted by God and get to know him in a personal relationship. God will make himself known to you.  If you reject Jesus, well I do not have to tell you how that will turn out, now do I?  

Another thing. You can try to hide from the disease by wearing a mask, washing yourself till your skin bleads, hide away in your own little world but a contagious disease will eventually find you out any way. After all disease without an antibody spreads like hell.

God is offering you his salvation today. Its free. God has a great health plan! There is nothing you have to do to earn it either! All free with great benefits!

How do I sign up for this great salvation? The Bible says that whoever calls on Jesus Christ will be saved. Saved from sin, saved from God’s wrath and saved for eternity!

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