Connected to the Vine

In our first months and years after Salvation, we attempt to please God. I made a list of all the commandments in the Bible. No really, I did! I posted the list so I could read them and keep these laws every day. I wanted to earn God’s love. About ten years later, a Christian brother shared the truth with me that we do not need to earn God’s love, because it is a free gift (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).

He explained that God did not want an army of robots, but a Body of Believers who trusted in Him explicitly with every area of their life. About this same time, a saying became very popular, “Let go and let God.” This mantra encourages us to relinquish control of our life and to turn everything over to God (Proverbs 3:5-6).

When we stop molding our self, we give Christ room to shape us into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18). This allows Him to reach everyone in our sphere of influence. He gives us His heart and He loves and serves others through us. We no longer live for our self, but Christ lives in and through us by His Spirit (Galatians 2:20). He is the Vine and we are the branches.

Branches do not produce any fruit; the Vine produces the fruit through each branch (John 15:4-5). In the same way, we do not accomplish great feats for God; He accomplishes His will through us (Ephesians 2:10). God fills us with His Spirit and we go where He wants us to go and do what He calls us to do. Our only effort is to surrender to the leading of God’s Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, through our connection to the Vine of Christ, You fill us with the fruit of Your Spirit. You justify us by our faith in Your faithfulness, and You flood our heart and mind with Your peace (Romans 5:1; Philippians 4:7). When this world frightens and discourages us, You flood our heart with Your peace, as we keep our focus on You, rather than on what occurs around us (Isaiah 26:3; John 14:27).

Thought for the Day:
In this modern day of technology, we can easily blog and use social media opportunities to share the gospel of Christ throughout the entire world. – Mark 16:15

Create your own blog and spread God’s Word:
https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/1623800?hl=en

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Every Waking Moment

Who is mankind, that our holy God would give us a moment of His attention? We are nothing, worthless and the foulest form of life on this planet. Yet, God lowered Himself below the angels, and became a man, in order to save us and to bring us into eternity with Him forever (Psalm 8:4-6). Amazingly, God gives us His full consideration, care and affection now and always (Job 7:17).

If we relinquish control of our life to God’s Spirit, He brings us into the presence of our Father God through Jesus Christ, illuminates God’s Word to us and guides us to do God’s will (John 14:26). The Spirit then begins the lifelong process of sanctifying us as His holy temple (1 Corinthains 6:19). He slowly transforms us into the image of Jesus Christ’s perfect, divine nature (Romans 8:29; 2 Peter 1:4).

Each moment of our day, the Holy Spirit endeavors to bring us into the rest of God. We thwart Him by filling our hours with busyness. We cause our self to experience fits of stress and high blood pressure, because we do not allow our self to enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10). Yet, God’s Spirit continually draws us ever deeper into fellowship with God until we finally, completely surrender to Him.

Then, we learn to walk in the holiness of God’s precepts. His Spirit puts His love in our hearts for one another, so that we are proof of His existence (John 13:34-35). Christ in us loves the brethren through us by His Holy Spirit. As we seek God first, His Spirit will direct us in loving one another according to His will, without enabling one another.

Prayer:
Father God, our ultimate joy is to live in Your presence, filled with Your Son, Jesus, and empowered by Your Spirit, who abides in us. Christ in us is our only hope of entering into Your glorious Kingdom (Colossians 1:27). Give us a burden for the lost, so we can reclaim them for Your Kingdom (Mark 16:15). Even the angels in heaven rejoice when one sinner repents and comes back to You (Luke 15:10).

Thought for the Day:
May we surrender our every waking moment into service for our God and King.