Matthew 13:23

ABIDING, RESTING AND TRUSTING IN JESUS

(September 9, 2021) Geri B encourages remaining in Jesus the vine…

Continuing along my earlier article on the theme of the grape vine (Abiding in the Vine)…

Jesus makes it clear that the Father wants his children to be fruitful and tells us that… ‘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‘ (John 15:1-5).

Remaining… to bear much fruit

  • If we remain (abide) in him, we will do just that – bear fruit.
  • And if we bear fruit, the Father will prune us so that we will be even more fruitful.
  • But the warning comes to us twice in this short passage… remain in him, otherwise you cannot bear fruit, you can do nothing!

Not only is it the Father’s desire that we bear much fruit by abiding in him, but there is that oft-missed warning that unless we remain in him, we cannot bear fruit, nor can we do anything of true value!

With all the gifts we have been endowed with there can often be a tendency to take ownership and believe that we can use them whenever and however we so choose… but the truth of it is, we are simply stewards of the manifold gifts of God and to really see lasting fruit from what has been entrusted to us, we must take our direction from the Lord – we must abide in him.

(more…)

DO YOU LISTEN WITH YOUR HEART?

(November 3, 2020) Carol Round shares an important biblical-based discipline…

‘Make your ear attentive to wisdom. Incline your heart to understanding’ Proverbs 2:2 (NASB) and a recent devotional in The Upper Room about listening with the heart led me to meditate on the writer’s words.

Her husband had retired early because of Parkinson’s disease. Because his voice had become soft and monotone, his wife often had trouble understanding his speech. However, she said, ‘Our adult son always understands what his dad is saying.’

One day she asked her husband the difference between their son’s approach and hers. Her husband replied, ‘Our son listens with his heart.’

The writer realised her preoccupation with household duties meant she wasn’t listening intently enough to hear and understand her husband. She said, ‘His words fell on rocky ground. Our son listened intently with a joyful heart and was able to understand his father.’

Listening for God’s message
The writer began to wonder if she approached scripture in the same way as she did her husband. She wrote. ‘Sometimes, when I read the Bible, I become so preoccupied with my to-do list I don’t listen for God’s message.’ (more…)