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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The “god” of This World

Before God created the Universe, He created angels (Revelation 5:11-14; Hebrews 1:14). Lucifer rebelled against God, and God cast him and his followers to earth. Then, Adam’s sin forfeited dominion over the earth to Satan (1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10; Revelation 12:10). However, we live in a scientific age now, where technology reigns and thoughts of the devil seem more like a medieval fairytale.

Most people today doubt the existence of the devil. They even discount the Bible’s teachings about the devil and demons and demonic activity in spiritual places. The world pictures Satan as an impotent, little red demon with a pitchfork, a long tail, and horns coming out of his head. Most people who believe in God still do not believe in the devil.

One of Satan’s greatest triumphs is in causing people not to take him seriously. He deceives people by masquerading as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14; Isaiah 14:12). Satan will do anything he can, and use any means at his disposal to oppose and try to destroy the work of God and to take people to hell with him. Hell is a place that is prepared for Satan, his demons and unbelievers (Matthew 25:41; John 3:18).

Many people are actually ignorant and blind to Satan’s strategy, power and plans. Our self-confidence overestimates our own abilities and underestimates the power of our spiritual enemies. Yet, other people see the devil and demons behind every rock and in every person. Some churches preach about Satan more than they exalt our Lord, Jesus Christ. They have more fear of the devil then they have faith in God.

Satan cannot do anything to us without God’s permission. Then, God uses that trial for our ultimate good (Job 1:6-12; Romans 8:28). God advises us to put on His armor to withstand our spiritual enemies (Ephesians 6:10-18). He gives great spiritual power to those who believe (Ephesians 1:19). Ultimately, Christ in us is greater than any demon or person in the world (1 John 4:4).

Prayer:
Father God, the devil targets lost sheep, in order to keep them addicted to the world, the flesh and his wiles (Ephesians 2:1-3). He walks about the earth as a lion, seeking people to destroy (1 Peter 5:8). Help us to take Your warning seriously about Satan being a thief who comes to pilfer, wound and mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually annihilate anyone silly enough to follow his plan for their life (John 10:10).

Thought for the Day:
The Bible makes it clear that Satan is still alive and well on planet earth; and he successfully infiltrates the mind of unbelievers and deals a mighty blow to each successive generation.