Posts Tagged ‘Abiding in Christ’

Treasures From The Vine—The Branch Just Like The Vine!

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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 bears not fruit

He takes away. – John 15:2

There is the lesson of perfect conformity The branch is exactly like the vine in every aspect – the same nature, the same life, the same place, the same work.  In all this they are inseparably one.  And so the believer needs to know that he is partaker of the divine nature, that he has the very nature and spirit of Christ in him, and that his one calling is to yield himself to a perfect conformity to Christ.  The branch is a perfect likeness of the vine; the only difference is the one is great and strong, and the source of strength; the other little and feeble, ever needing and receiving strength.  Even so the believer is, and is to be, the perfect likeness of Christ.

There is the lesson of absolute dependence.  The vine has its stores of life and sap and strength not for itself, but for the branches.  The branches are and have nothing but what the vine provides and imparts.  The believer is called to, and it is his highest blessedness to enter upon, a life of entire and unceasing dependence upon Christ.  Day and night, every moment, Christ is to work in him all he needs.

And then there is the lesson of undoubting confidence.  The branch has no care; the vine provides all; it has but to yield itself and receive.  It is the sight of this truth that leads to the blessed rest of faith, the true secret of growth and strength:  “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”  What a life would come to us if we only consented to be branches!  Dear child of God, learn the lesson.  You have but one thing to do:  Only be a branch – nothing more, nothing less!  Just be a branch; Christ will be the Vine that gives all.  And the Husbandman, the mighty God, who made the Vine what it is, will as surely make the branch what it ought to be.

* * *

Lord Jesus, I pray, reveal to me the heavenly mystery of the branch, in its living union with the Vine, in its claim on all its fullness.  And let Your all-sufficiency, holding and filling Your branches, lead me to the rest of faith that knows that You work all.

 

 

Treasures From The Vine—Our Work Is Trusting God To Save Us

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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 my father is the husbandman. – John 15:1

My Father is the husbandman. – That is as blessedly true for us as for Christ.  Christ is about to teach His disciples about their being branches.  Before He ever uses the word, or speaks at all of abiding in Him or bearing fruit, He turns their eyes heavenward to the Father watching over them and working all in them.

At the very root of all Christian life lies the thought that God is to do all, that our one work is to leave ourselves in His hands, in the confession of utter helplessness and dependence, in the assured confidence that He gives us all we need.  The great lack of the Christian life is that, even where we trust Christ, we leave God out of the count.  Christ came to bring us to God.  Christ lived the life of a man exactly as we have to live it.  Christ the Vine points to God the Husbandman.  As He trusted God, let us trust God, that everything we ought to be and have, as those who belong to the Vine, will be given to us from above.

Isaiah said:  “A vineyard of red wine.  I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.”  Before we begin to think of fruit or branches, let us have our heart filled with the faith that as glorious as the Vine is the Husbandman.   As high and holy as is our calling, so mighty and loving is the God who will work it all.  As surely as the Husbandman made the Vine what it was to be, will He make each branch what it is to be.  Our Father is our Husbandman, the surety for our growth and fruit.

 

Treasures From The Vine—Jesus Alone Is The Vine

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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

 

I am the vine, ye are the branches. – John 15:5

How much weary labor there has been in striving to understand what abiding is, how much fruitless effort in trying to attain it!  Why was this?  Because the attention was turned to the abiding as a work we have to do, instead of to the living Christ, in whom we were to be kept abiding, who Himself was to hold and keep us.  We thought of abiding as a continual strain and effort – we forget that it means rest from effort to one who has found the place of his abode.  Notice how Christ said, “Abide in Me; I am the Vine that brings forth, and holds, and strengthens, and makes fruitful the branches.  Abide in Me, rest in Me, and let Me do My work.  I am the true Vine.  All I am, and speak, and do is divine truth, giving the actual reality of what is said.  I am the Vine.  Only consent and yield your all to Me, and I will do all in you.”

And so it sometimes comes that souls who have never been especially occupied with the thought of abiding are abiding all the time, because they are occupied with Christ.  Not that the word abide is not needful; Christ used it so often because it is the very key to the Christian life.  But He would have us understand it in its true sense – “Come out of every other place, and every other trust and occupation, come out of self with its reasonings and efforts, come and rest in what I shall do.  Live out of yourself; abide in Me.  Know that you are in Me; you need no more; remain there in me.”

I am the Vine. – Christ did not keep this mystery hidden from His disciples.  He revealed it, first in words here, then in power when the Holy Spirit came down.  He will reveal it to us too, first in the thoughts and confessions and desires these words awaken, then in power by the Spirit.  Do let us wait on Him to show us all the heavenly meaning of the mystery.  Each day, in our quiet time, in the inner chamber with Him and His Word, our chief thought and aim should be to get the heart fixed on Him.  We can have the assurance:  All that a vine ever can do for its branches, my Lord Jesus will do, is doing, for me.  Give Him time, give Him your ear, that He may whisper and explain the divine secret: “I am the vine.”

Above all, remember, Christ is the Vine of God’s planting, and you are a branch of God’s graftingStand always before God, in Christ – waiting for all grace from God, in Christ, yielding yourself to bear the more fruit the Husbandman asks, in Christ.  And pray much for the revelation of the mystery that all the love and power of God that rested on Christ is working in you too.  “I am God’s Vine,” Jesus says; “all I am I have from Him; all I am is for you; God will work it in you.”

* * *

I am the vine.  Blessed Lord, speak that word into my soul.  Then shall I know that all Your fullness is for me and that I can count upon You to stream it into me.  My abiding is so easy and so sure when I forget and lose myself in the adoring faith that the Vine holds the branch and supplies its every need.

 

Treasures From The Vine—The Living Lord!

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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

 

I am the true vine. – John 15:1

I am the true vine. – The Vine is the living Lord, who Himself speaks, and gives, and works all that He has for us.  If you would know the meaning and power of that word, do not think to find it by thought or study; these may help to show you what you must get from Him to awaken desire and hope and prayer, but they cannot show you the Vine.  Jesus alone can reveal Himself.  He gives His Holy Spirit to open the eyes to gaze upon Himself, to open the heart to receive Himself.  He must Himself speak the word to you and me.

I am the true vine. – And what are you to do, if you want the mystery, in all its heavenly beauty and blessing, opened up to you?  With what you already know of the parable, bow down and be still, worship and wait, until the divine Word enters your heart and you feel His holy presence with you and in you.  The overshadowing of His holy love will give you the perfect calm and rest of knowing that the Vine will do all.

I am the true vine. – He who speaks is God, in His infinite power able to enter into us.  He is man, one with us.  He is the crucified One, who won a perfect righteousness and a divine life for us through His death.  He is the glorified One, who from the throne gives His Spirit to make His presence real and true.  He speaks – oh, listen, not to His words only, but to Himself, as He whispers secretly day by day:  “I am the true Vine!  All that the Vine can ever be to its branch, I will be to you.”

* * *

Holy Lord Jesus, the heavenly Vine of God’s own planting, I beseech You, reveal Yourself to my soul.  Let the Holy Spirit, not only in thought, but in experience, give me to know all that You, the Son of God, are to me as the true Vine.

 

Holy Spirit Baptism! Has Your Christian Experience Been All You Hoped It Would Be?

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This Post Is By Pastor Dennis Smith of Holy Spirit Ministries.

Pastor Smith is Author of “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. Spirit Baptism is a Great Read That Will Guide you into A Close Intimate Walk With Jesus, The Only One Who Can Save You!! Details and links are at the end of this post.

Christians of Past Generations

The Lord has given us examples in both the Bible and history of individuals who have learned lessons in life as the struggled to enter into the victorious life the Bible calls them to attain.  Paul tells us that “all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” 1Corinthians 10:11.  One such example is that of J. Hudson Taylor, the well known 19th century missionary to China.

Taylor experienced frustration, confusion, and discouragement at the beginning of his service for the Lord.  At the age of thirty-seven he shared his inner most feelings with his mother in a letter.  In it we read of the feelings of failure and defeat he felt because of his inability to be faithful to His Lord in all things.  Taylor wrote:

“My own position becomes continually more and more responsible, and my need greater of special grace to fill it; but I have continually to mourn that I follow at such a distance and learn so slowly to imitate my precious master.  I cannot tell you how I am buffeted sometimes by temptation.  I never knew how bad a heart I had.  Yet I do know that I love God and love His work, and desire to serve Him only in all things.  And I value above all things that precious Savior in Whom alone I can be accepted.  Often I am tempted to think that one so full of sin cannot be a child of God at all; but I try to throw it back, and rejoice all the more in the preciousness of Jesus, and in the riches of that grace that has made us ‘accepted in the Beloved.’  Beloved He is of God; beloved He ought to be of us.  But oh, how short I fall here again!  May God help me to love Him more and serve Him better.  Do pray for me.  Pray that the Lord will keep me from sin, will sanctify me wholly, will use me more largely in His service.”

John McCarthy, a fellow missionary in China, wrote Taylor a letter describing a recent understanding he had come to concerning victory over temptation through Christ.  In the letter McCarthy wrote:

“To let my loving Savior work in me His will, my sanctification is what I would live for by His grace.   Abiding, not striving or struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting Him for present power;…resting in the love of an almighty Savior, in the joy of a complete salvation, ‘from all sin’—this is not new, and yet ‘tis new to me.  I feel as though the dawning of a glorious day had risen upon me.  I hail it with trembling, yet with trust.  I seem to have got to the edge only, but of a boundless sea; to have sipped only, but of that which fully satisfies.  Christ literally all seems to me, now, the power, the only power for service, the only ground for unchanging joy.  May he lead us into the realization of His unfathomable fullness…Not a striving to have faith…but a looking off to the Faithful One seems all we need; a resting in the Loved One entirely, for time and for eternity.”

God used this letter to open Taylor’s eyes to the wonderful truth of our abiding in Christ and His abiding in us; the truth of the mystery of the believer’s union with Christ.  From that day forward Taylor’s walk with God was one of peace, rest and victory in Christ.  This amazing change could be seen by his colleagues in ministry who said, “Mr. Taylor went out, a new man in a new world, to tell what the Lord had done for his soul.”

Taylor wrote his sister in England seeking to explain to her this wonderful truth he had discovered and the marvelous experience he was having in His Lord.  He said:

“As to work, mine was never so plentiful, so responsible, or so difficult; but the weight and strain are all gone.  The last month or more has been perhaps, the happiest of my life; and I long to tell you a little of what the Lord has done for my soul.  I do not know how far I may be able to make myself intelligible about it, for there is nothing new or strange or wonderful – and yet, all is new!  In a word, ‘Whereras once I was blind, now I see.’

“When my agony of soul was at it height, a sentence in a letter from dear McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never known it before.  McCarthy, who had been much exercised by the same sense of failure, but saw the light before I did, wrote (I quote from memory): ‘But how to get faith strengthened?  Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One.’

“As I read I saw it all!  ‘If we believe not, he abideth faithful.’  I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!)  I thought.  ‘I have striven in vain to rest in Him.  I’ll strive no more.  For has He not promised to abide with me – never to leave me, never to fail me?’  And, dearie, He never will!”

Taylor went on in his letter to describe how the Lord had opened up his understanding concerning Christ’s words that He is the vine and the believers are the branches.  He wrote: “Oh, the joy of seeing this truth!”  Then he said:

“The sweetest part, if one may speak of one part being sweeter than another, is the rest which full identification with Christ brings.  I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine.  It makes no matter where He places me, or how.  That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest positions He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient.”

Yes, J. Hudson Taylor found the secret of victory in his walk with God and great peace in all circumstances of service for Christ.  God offers to each of His children this same victory and peace.  Do you desire such victory and peace?  My prayer is that all who read this book will find just that – victory and peace in Christ; a joy that seemed so impossible to attain before.

Next Post: The Path to Discovery. The Truth of Abiding “in Christ” and How We Can Experience a Victorious Life.

Can it be This Simple?

“The Baptism of The Holy Spirit”. In This Book Pastor Smith gives the reader an essential understanding of The Baptism of The Holy Spirit. Click on the link that follows.

“The Baptism of the Holy Spirit”.

Pastor Smith’s Website

Treasures From The Vine—Simply Abide

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Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

 

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

 When a new graft is placed in a vine and it survives there, there is a twofold process that takes place.  The first is in the wood. The graft shoots its little roots and fibers down into the stem, and the stem grows up into the graft, and what has been called the structural union is affected.  The graft abides and becomes one with the vine, and even though the vine were to die, would still be one wood with it.  Then there is the second process, in which the sap of the vine enters the new structure, and uses it as a passage through which sap can flow up to show itself in young shoots and leaves and fruit.  Here is the vital union.  Into the graft that abides in the stock, the stock enters with sap to abide in it.

When our Lord says: “Abide in me, and I in you,” He points to something analogous to this. “Abide in me”: that refers more to that which we have to do.  We have to trust and obey, to detach ourselves from all else, to reach out after Him and cling to Him, to sink ourselves into Him.  As we do this, through the grace He gives, a character is formed and a heart prepared for the fuller experience:  “I in you.”  God strengthens us with might by the Spirit in the inner man, and Christ dwells in the heart by faith.

Treasures From The Vine—I Am The Vine

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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

 

I am the vine, ye are the branches. – John 15:5

In the previous verse Christ said: “Abide in me.”  He then announced the great unalterable law of all branch life, on earth or in heaven:  The branch cannot bear fruit “of itself”; “except it abide.”  In the opening words of the parable, He has already said, “I am the vine.”  He now repeats the words.  He would have us understand – note well the lesson (as simple as it appears, it is the key of the abiding life) – that the only way to obey the command “Abide in me” is to have eye and heart fixed upon Himself.  “Abide in me . . . I am the vine.”  Yes, study this holy mystery until you see Christ as the true Vine – bearing, strengthening, supplying, inspiring all His branches, being and doing in each branch all it needs – and the abiding will come of  itself.  Yes, gaze upon Him as the true Vine until you feel what a heavenly mystery it is and are compelled to ask the Father to reveal it to you by His Holy Spirit.

He to whom God reveals the glory of the true Vine, he who sees what Jesus is and waits to do His will every moment, he cannot but abide.  The vision of Christ is an irresistible attraction; it draws and holds us like a magnet.  Listen ever to the living Christ still speaking to you and waiting to show you the meaning and power of His word: “I am the vine.”

 

 

Treasures From The Vine—The Grapes

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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 bears not fruit he takes away. – John 15:2

FRUIT.  This is the next great word we have: the Vine, the Husbandman, the branch, the fruit.  What has our Lord to say to us about fruit?  Simply this – that fruit is the one thing the branch is for, and that if it bear not fruit, the husbandman takes it away.  The vine is the glory of the husbandman; the branch is the glory of the vine; the fruit is the glory of the branch.  If the branch bring not forth fruit, there is no glory or worth in it; it is an offense and a hindrance; the husbandman takes it away. The one reason for the existence of a branch, the one mark of being a true branch of the heavenly Vine, the one condition of being allowed by the divine Husbandman to share the life of the Vine is bearing fruit.  And what is fruit?  Something that the branch bears, not for itself, but for its owner; something that is to be gathered and taken away.  The branch does indeed receive from the vine sap for its own life, by which it grows thicker and stronger.  But this supply for its own maintenance is entirely subordinate to its fulfillment of the purpose of its existence – bearing fruit.  It is because Christians do not understand or accept this truth that they so fail in their efforts and prayers to live the branch life.  They often desire it earnestly; they read and meditate and pray, and yet they fail, and they wonder why.  The reason is very simple:  They do not know that fruitbearing is the one thing they have been saved for.

Just as entirely as Christ became the true Vine with the one object, you have been made a branch, with the one object of bearing fruit for the salvation of men.  The Vine and the branch are equally under the unchangeable law of fruitbearing as the one reason of their being.  Christ and the believer, the heavenly Vine and the branch, have equally their place in the world exclusively for one purpose: to carry God’s saving love to men.  Hence the solemn word: Every branch that bears not fruit, He takes away.

 

Treasures From The Vine—The Cleansing

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Port Vell, Barcelona, Spain (iStockphoto)154397986-652x415_17

 

 

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

There are two remarkable things about the vine.  There is not a plant of which spirit can be so abundantly distilled as the vine.  And there is not a plant that so soon runs into wild wood, that hinders its fruit, and therefore needs the most merciless pruning.  I look out of my window on large vineyards.  The chief care of the vinedresser is the pruning.  You may have a trellis vine rooting so deep in good soil that it needs neither digging, nor manuring, nor watering, but pruning it cannot dispense with, if it is to bear good fruit.  Some trees need occasional pruning; others bear perfect fruit without any; the vine must have it.

And so our Lord tells us here at the very outset of the parable that the one work the Father does to the branch that bears fruit is He prunes it that it may bear more fruit.

Consider a moment what this pruning or cleansing is.  It is not the removal of weeds or thorns or anything from outside that may hinder the growth.  No; it is the cutting off of the long shoots of the previous year, the removal of something that comes from within, that has been produced by the life of the vine itself.  It is the removal of something that is a proof of the vigor of its life.  The more vigorous the growth has been, the greater the need for the pruning.  It is the honest, healthy wood of the vine that has to be cut away.  And why?  Because it would consume too much of the sap to fill all the long shoots of last year’s growth:  The sap must be saved up and used for fruit alone.

 

Treasures From The Vine—Fruit-Bearing

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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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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.