Abiding Fruit – Part 2

As God’s Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ, we abide in His abundant love forever. We keep His commandments and love our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors with the love of the Lord (Matthew 22:37-39; John 15:10).

The Vine existed long before the branches ever grew, and He sacrificially shares His love and life with us (1 John 4:19). We choose to fully commit to our relationship with the Vine (John 15:16).

Separated from the Vine, we can do nothing (John 15:5). We display the fruit of the flesh, which is envy, strife, hatred, self-centeredness, criticism, worry, depression, pride, bitterness, complaining, quitting, backbiting, loving our self more than others, loving money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to our parents, ungrateful, unholy, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; inventing ways of doing evil; disobeying our parents; and as adults, we put work and fun ahead of God (2 Timothy 3:2; Romans 1:30).

Abiding in the Vine gradually renews our heart and replaces these negative issues with the fruit of God’s Spirit, which we bear through our obedience to Him. This is the evidence of our union with the Vine (John 15:13).

We rest in His grace and renew our strength as we wait on Him (Isaiah 40:31). His Spirit directs us each moment of the day (John 16:13). We increase God’s Kingdom by our obedience to Him and His Word (Mark 4:26).

God’s fruit in our life is proof of our faith in God (James 2:14-26). We abide in Him, but He also abides in us, completing the sanctifying work of holiness, which He started in us at salvation (Philippians 1:6, 2:12-13).

Prayer:
Father God, let us never break our connection with Your Vine. The life we receive through Your presence in our spirit is not paralleled by anything this world has to offer.

Help us to exhibit affection for others, an exuberance about life, serenity through the storms, determination and patience, a compassionate heart, and kindness that pervades our entire being (Galatians 5:22-23).

We trust that You have this world in Your control and have a perfect timetable for its culmination and the renewal of all things. Remind us to live humbly in service to You and others, and continually guide us by Your Spirit.

Thought for the Day:
Our God, who called us, is faithful to us and will fulfill us and care for us until we abide with Him in eternity. – 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Abiding Fruit – Part 1

Vineyards are a way of life in many countries around the world. A vine and branch are a common symbols of the intimacy of our relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 5:1-7, 27:2-6).

No branch can bear fruit unless it is connected to the Vine, with the nutrients from the roots and leaves flowing into each branch through the Vine (John 15:4).

The only way to bear fruit for God’s Kingdom is by abiding in the Vine. In Christ, we bear much fruit (John 15:5). He puts us in the right place, at the right time, with the right people to impact lives.

God’s abiding fruit gives us a new personality, prunes the decaying negative characteristics from our life, and nurtures the positive aspects, which He birthed in us.

He replaces hatred with love, discontentment with peace, irritation with patience, criticism with gentleness, backbiting with goodness, worry with faith, pride with meekness, and depression with true joy as He controls and guides us by His Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

The branch has no responsibility but to allow the life of the Vine to produce fruit through it. The branch is securely attached to the Vine, an integral part of the makeup of the Vine.

To abide in the Vine means to be so unified with the Vine that there is no difference between the two. We flow out of the Vine, reaching up to God’s life-giving Son and basking in the refreshing later rains (John 15:2; Joel 2:23).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that the Vine and branch are one entity, created for the purpose of bearing fruit to sustain a famished world dwelling all around us. Without this union, the branch dies and is pruned, discarded and burned in the fire.

Help us to enter into Your rest and to patiently hang out with the Vine, enjoying the cooling winds of the Spirit and the warming rays of Your Son. Encourage us to continue in Christ throughout our lifetime (Hebrews 4:10).

Thought for the Day:
If a branch is torn from the Vine by the storms of life, it no longer bears fruit and it withers and is thrown into the fire to be burned; yet, if we weather the storms of life by clinging to the Vine, we remain in the Vine and bear even more fruit. – John 15:6

Our Motivation in Life

As an authentic Born Again Believer, our motivation in life comes from one of four sources: the flesh, the world, the devil or God’s Spirit. At times, it is hard to discern which one is influencing our thoughts, emotions, desires and actions. We can discover the source of our motivation by checking on our responses to the situation.

Are our thoughts, words and actions mirroring the fruit of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) or the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? Negative emotions and behavior are definite clues that the flesh, the world or the devil is influencing us, rather than the Spirit (1 John 2:16). Fleshly conduct and demonic oppression in a Believer is the direct result of not walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-18).

When we recognize that we are out of the Spirit, we can confess our thoughts and behavior as sin, and ask our Father to renew a right spirit in us (Psalm 51:10). God is always quick to forgive us and to empower us with His Holy Spirit. Once we turn away from our carnal behavior and seek the Lord’s direction, He enables us to make amends to anyone we hurt, while we operated in the flesh.

We walk in the Spirit as we stay connected to the Spirit throughout the day. He will direct each moment and everything included in it, if we seek Him first (Matthew 6:33). The more we rely on the Spirit, the more victory we have over the flesh, the world and the devil (Ephesians 2:1-10). We are no longer motivated by worldly success, the balance of our bank account, or the number and type of our friends, but by God.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that we are an extension of Christ on the earth (John 14:12). We walk in obedience to You to the best of our ability, relying on the Holy Spirit to keep us on the straight and narrow and in the center of Your will (Matthew 7:13-14; John 14:15). Thank You for forgiving our shortcomings and inspiring us to focus on the eternal, rather the earthly aspects of our life. We want all that we think, say and do to bring You glory (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Thought for the Day:
Do not make plans; consult the Lord and follow His desire for every moment of your day. – Proverbs 3:5-6