Posts Tagged ‘Personal life’

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.

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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—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—Mystery Of The True 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 true vine. – John 15:1

All earthly things are the shadows of heavenly realities – the expression, in created, visible forms, of the invisible glory of God.  The life and the truth are in heaven; on earth we have figures and shadows of the heavenly truths.  When Jesus says: “I am the true vine,” He tells us that all the vines of earth are pictures and emblems of Himself.  He is the divine reality, of which they are the created expression.  They all point to Him, and preach Him, and reveal Him.  If you would know Jesus, study the vine.

How many eyes have gazed on and admired a great vine with its beautiful fruit?  Come and gaze on the heavenly Vine till your eye turns from all else to admire Him.  How many, in a sunny climate, sit and rest under the shadow of a vine?  Come and be still under the shadow of the true Vine, and rest under it from the heat of the day.  What countless numbers rejoice in the fruit of the vine!  Come, and take, and eat of the heavenly fruit of the true Vine, and let your soul say: “I sat under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste.”

I am the true vine. – This is a heavenly mystery.  The earthly vine can teach you much about this Vine of heaven.  Many interesting and beautiful points of comparison suggest themselves and help us to get conceptions of what Christ meant.  But such thoughts do not teach us to know what the heavenly Vine really is, in its cooling shade and its life-giving fruit.  The experience of this is part of the hidden mystery, which none but Jesus Himself, by His Holy Spirit, can unfold and  impart.

 

 

Treasures From The Vine— The Purpose Of The Branch

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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

Here we have one of the chief words of the parable – branch.  A vine needs branches:  Without branches it can do nothing, can bear no fruit.  As important as it is to know about the Vine and the Husbandman, it is to realize what the branch is.  Before we listen to what Christ has to say about it, let us first of all take in what a branch is and what it teaches us of our life in Christ.  A branch is simply a bit of wood, brought forth by the vine for the one purpose of serving it in bearing its fruit.  It is of the same nature as the vine, and it has one life and one spirit with it.  Just think a moment of the lessons this suggests.

There is the lesson of entire consecration The branch has but one object for which it exists, one purpose to which it is entirely given up, to bear the fruit the vine wishes to bring forth.  And so the believer has but one reason for being a branch – but one reason for his existence on earth – that the heavenly Vine may through him bring forth His fruit.  Happy the soul that knows this, that has consented to it, and that says, “I have been redeemed and I live for one thing.  As exclusively as the natural branch exists only to bring forth fruit, I too; as exclusively as the heavenly Vine exists to bring forth fruit, I too.  As I have been planted by God into Christ, I have wholly given myself to bear the fruit the Vine desires to bring forth.”

 

Individuality—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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   We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

 

 

 

 

   By Oswald Chambers

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For December 11th

“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.”

Matthew 16:24

Individuality is the husk of the personal life. Individuality is all elbows, it separates and isolates. It is the characteristic of the child and rightly so; but if we mistake individuality for the personal life, we will remain isolated. The shell of individuality is God’s created natural covering for the protection of the personal life; but individuality must go in order that the personal life may come out and be brought into fellowship with God. Individuality counterfeits personality as lust counterfeits love. God designed human nature for Himself; individuality debases human nature for itself.

The characteristics of individuality are independence and self-assertiveness. It is the continual assertion of individuality that hinders our spiritual life more than anything else. If you say – “I cannot believe,” it is because individuality is in the road; individuality never can believe. Personality cannot help believing. Watch yourself when the Spirit of God is at work. He pushes you to the margins of your individuality, and you have either to say – “I shan’t,” or to surrender, to break the husk of individuality and let the personal life emerge. The Holy Spirit narrows it down every time to one thing (cf. Matthew 5:23-24). The thing in you that will not be reconciled to your brother is your individuality. God wants to bring you into union with Himself, but unless you are willing to give up your right to yourself He cannot. “Let him deny himself” – deny his independent right to himself, then the real life has a chance to grow.