Archive for February, 2013

Treasures From The Vine—Fruit-Bearing

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Barrea - Italyf51

 

Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.

And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not

believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love,

and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on a dying world.

-Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away. – John 15:2

Let us especially beware of one great mistake.  Many Christians think their own salvation is the first thing; their temporal life and prosperity, with the care of their family, the second; and what time and interest is left may be devoted to fruit-bearing, to the saving of men.  No wonder that in most cases very little time or interest can be found.  No, Christian, the one object with which you have been made a member of Christ’s body is that the Head may have you to carry out His saving work.  The one object God had in making you a branch is that Christ may through you bring life to men.  Your personal salvation, your business and care for your family, are entirely subordinate to this.  Your first aim in life, your first aim every day, should be to know how Christ desires to carry out His purpose in you.

Let us begin to think as God thinks.  Let us accept Christ’s teaching and respond to it.  The one object of my being a branch, the one mark of my being a true branch, the one condition of my abiding and growing strong, is that I bear the fruit of the heavenly Vine for dying men to eat and live.  And the one thing of which I can have the most perfect assurance is that, with Christ as my Vine, and the Father as my Husbandman, I can indeed be a fruitful branch.

* * *

Our Father, You come seeking fruit.  Teach us, we pray, to realize how truly this is the one object of our existence and of our union to Christ.  Make it the one desire of our hearts to be branches, so filled with the Spirit of the Vine as to bring forth fruit abundantly.

 

Treasures From The Vine—God’s Perfect Work In Us!

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Catching a ride 65

 

Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.

And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not

believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love,

and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on a dying world.

-Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 

And every branch that bears fruit, he purges it,

that it may bring forth more fruit. – John 15:2

More fruit. – The Word comes with divine authority to search and test our life.  The true disciple will heartily surrender himself to its holy light and will earnestly ask that God Himself may show what may be lacking in the measure or the character of the fruit he bears.  Let us believe that the Word is meant to lead us on to a fuller experience of the Father’s purpose of love, of Christ’s fullness, and of the wonderful privilege of bearing much more fruit in the salvation of men.

More fruit. – The word is a most encouraging one.  Let us listen to it.  It is just to the branch that is bearing fruit that this message comes: more fruit.  God does not demand this as Pharaoh the taskmaster, or as Moses the lawgiver, without providing the means.  He comes as a Father, who gives what He asks and works what He commands.  He comes to us as the living branches of the living Vine and offers to work the more fruit in us, if we but yield ourselves into His hands.  Shall we not admit the claim, accept the offer, and look to Him to work it in us?

“That it may bring forth more fruit”: − Do let us believe that as the owner of a vine does everything to make the fruitage as rich and large as possible, the divine Husbandman will do all that is needed to make us bear more fruit.  All He asks is that we set our heart’s desire on it, entrust ourselves to His working and care, and joyfully look to Him to do His perfect work in us.  God has set His heart on more fruit; Christ waits to work it in us; let us joyfully look up to our divine Husbandman and our heavenly Vine, to ensure our bearing more fruit.

* * *

Our Father which art in heaven, You are the heavenly Husbandman.  And Christ is the heavenly Vine.  And I am a heavenly branch, partaker of His heavenly life, to bear His heavenly fruit.  Father, let the power of His life so fill me that I may ever bear more fruit, to the glory of Your name.

 

 

 

Treasures From The Vine—More Fruit

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Golden Gate Bridge

 San Francisco’s Famous Golden Gate Bridge

Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.

And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not

believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love,

and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on a dying world.

-Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 

And every branch that bears fruit, he purges it,

that it may bring forth more fruit. – John 15:2

The thought of fruit is so prominent in the eye of Him who sees things as they are, and fruit is so truly the one thing God has set His heart upon, that our Lord, after having said that the branch that bears no fruit is taken away, at once adds: and where there is fruit, the one desire of the Husbandman is more fruit. As the gift of His grace, as the token of spiritual vigor, as the showing forth of the glory of God and of Christ, as the only way for satisfying the need of the world, God longs for and fits us for more fruit.

More fruit. – This is a very searching word.  As churches and individuals we are in danger of nothing so much as self-contentment.  The self-satisfied spirit of Laodicea – we are rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing – may prevail where it is not suspected.  The divine warning – poor and wretched and miserable – finds little response just where it is most needed.

Let us not rest content with the thought that we are taking an equal share with others in the work that is being done, or that people are satisfied with our efforts in Christ’s service, or even that they point to us as examples.  Let our only desire be to know whether we are bearing all the fruit Christ is willing to give through us as living branches, in close and living union with Himself, and whether we are satisfying the loving heart of the great Husbandman, our Father in heaven, in His desire for more fruit.