contentment

ABIDING IN THE VINE

(July 19, 2021) Geraldine Brandt shares from her heart graciously on a vital issue…

Jesus made it clear in John 15: 1-2,4-5 that the Father wants his children to be fruitful… ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  I am the vine and you are the branches.  The one who remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.’

We tend to skip over ‘while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes …’! But three things are outstandingly clear –

  • If we remain (abide, an action verb!) in him, we will bear fruit.
  • Although bearing fruit, the Father will prune us so we’ll be even more fruitful. 
  • A twice-mentioned warningremain in him otherwise we cannot bear fruit, do nothing!

More abundant than before
Have you ever seen a pruned grape vine? It is quite brutally cut back to the main trunk so that it would appear there are no branches at all remaining, just the main trunk.  You would be forgiven for thinking the pruning was too much, the vine dresser had gone too far and there would be no fruit for the coming hasrvest season.

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WORDS OF LIFE (#3) – PEACE (SHALOM)

Jim McClure(September 15, 2016) Dr Jim McClure, respected theologian, continues his series on some scripture words…

The Hebrew word shalom is familiar to many people apart from Jews.  Most people would say that it means ‘peace,’ and they would be right – up to a point! However, to consider shalom only in terms of the absence of war is to put severe limitations on this great word. For example, two nations may not be dropping missiles on each other, but they may still vent such hostility towards each other that the citizens of both nations may live constantly under the sense of threat and uncertainty.  This would not be a definition of shalom.   Shalom’ means so much more than that.

When we examine how the word shalom is used in the Bible, we discover that ‘peace’ is a widely embracing word which has a plethora of meanings.  It is a word of interaction – with God, between people and, indeed, with all of life. It has to do with harmonious totality.  This study explores some of the depth and breadth of this most positive of Hebrew words. (more…)