Without Christ I Am Nothing!

John 15 b.png

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.                                                      John 15:5-8

As you and I read this words from the Gospel of John we come to understand how important it is for us to have a daily walk with Christ. Going through this life we all know of is hard enough alone, but we need to know we don’t have to when we decided to become disciples of Christ. Have you notice how easy it is to lose contact with people you knew earlier and whose friendship really means a lot to you? The years fly by and you don’t know each other’s addresses anymore. Relationship must be treasured and kept. Jesus encourage his disciples ineffective if they weren’t in contact with him at all times. The image of branches that stay attached to the vine was a good representation of what would be expected of them. As far as Jesus was concerned, it was a promise. Jesus was saying, “You make the connected to Me, and I will stay connected to you.” Only in this permanent unity would they find the spiritual ability to bear fruit for him in their work as his witness. You and I also need to stay connect with God. We must make up our minds to stay in Jesus as long as he can provide us with the sources that strengthen our spiritual abilities, and at the same time make us effective in our creative relationship with others. We cannot do it on our own. We must get our spiritual life from Jesus himself. For me as a disciple of Jesus Christ I too must remain in his words daily, as well as continue to be in pray with my heavenly Father. When I do these things then and only then I can serve Christ the best way possible.

Develop a passion for learning, it you do, you will never cease to grow.                        Anthony J. D’Angelo

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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God’s Garden

John15.png   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.                                                    John 15:1-2

There are people who say that gardening brings you into close contact with nature, I do agree since I have enjoy doing it. It also enhances your property, provides flowers for the house and food for the table. In spite of being hard work, it gives great joy to those who do it. 

People in Israel were familiar with the gardener who looked after the vineyard and harvested the grapes. The role of the gardener and of the shepherd, the farmer and the judge was a reference to God. The gardener was in control of the vineyard and the vines were his pride and joy. Christ was God’s vine and thus theFather”  was the owner of the vineyard and the primary agent in taking care of the vineyard and yielding a crop. The small and insignificant Christian community who follow Jesus’ teaching, soon realized that God, the owner of the vineyard had planted a new vine and that these branches were now given preference over the old vine, Israel. In reaching his goal, God was in control of his “garden”, like any hardworking gardener or farmer, he did everything possible to ensure a good and abundant harvest.

Take note that, above the buzz and din of the world’s business God is still there and at work, looking for ways to motivate His missionaries so that He may be sure of a good and fertile crop. Sometimes He plants more vines and patiently carries on working until the first fruit is seen and He can gather the harvest that he has been waiting for. Always look around and see his wonderful handy work he has already done.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

A Season to Change

Isaiah 11.pngA shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with the righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give with justice he will give decision for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.        Isaiah 11:1-5                          I will baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, who sandals, I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirt.                                              Matthew 3:11

Once again, we have entered into the season of advent, anticipating the birth of Jesus and hoping that soon very soon that the promise of peace on earth would become true, but can we change our own lives if not the world. As we stop and look into the manager of a tiny little baby perhaps we can say to ourselves what does this all mean. We can pick up a newspaper, watch the television to take notice and to say where is this peace on earth? So much violence in our world and at times so much hate, where is this love that people seems to be talking about especially that we seem to hear it more during this season. As we begin to prepared for this season in many ways such as baking with our children or grandchildren, going shopping in a crowded mall where at times people can be a little crazy, okay you may be thinking they can be nuts at times, the beautiful lights we all see, and the music that is playing on our car radio, and even the movies on television which reminds all of us this season. I personally love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree in my home, which reminds me of the season. Are all the different traditions that we have in our own families does this tell others and also us that we are ready to make a change in our own lives? Are we showing others of what we do or say that we are followers of Jesus, we are his disciples. Even thro this is a beautiful season there are so many people who are hurting this time of year and need to hear about the hope we have in Jesus. Christmas is a profoundly beautiful season, but for some it also highlights the losses, griefs, and heartbreaks in their lives. In Isaiah 11, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a ruler who would be a descendant of Jesse. Jesse was the father of ancient Israel’s great King David. This descendant would rule with true justice and true faith, and he would establish true peace. This peace would be so great that even wild animals would be able to lie down next to one another and even a child will lead them. This descendant would also become a standard for people throughout the world. And, this descendant would be sought by people throughout the world. As Isaiah talks about this future King, he is telling us that he will be able to look into the hearts of people and judge based on the truth. The poor and oppressed will find a champion in him. This ruler to come will stand for justice and will impose punishment of evildoers. This King will not be clothed in royal purple or anything so fancy, his garments will be righteousness and faithfulness. As we heard from the gospel of Matthew we come to learn that John the Baptize was the one to prepared the way of the coming of the Lord. In most households when someone says, “Company’s coming! Everyone works and clean up the entire house in preparation of their guest. The gospel of Matthew has John proclaiming, “Messiah is coming! But do not go and clean up your house. Instead, mend your heart! Clear your lives of any obstacle that would hinder his coming.” Housework requires the right tools to use. The type of tools John has in mind are repentance and baptism. Repentance comes from the Greek word metanoia, which means change of mind, to change one’s life completely. Repentance is like driving down the wrong road, then turning around and going in the opposite direction. Baptism is the symbol that one has repented and been cleansed of sin. This was important to John’s ministry that he became known as John the Baptizer. How do we, as followers of Jesus Christ, return the purpose of Christmas to the focus of Jesus? How do we prepare for his birth and for the second coming, it is not by having parties, decorating our houses, and giving gifts wrapped in fancy paper, but instead by giving ourselves anew over to the way of Christ? I suppose giving ourselves over to Jesus Christ begins with God’s gift of grace to us. It is something we feel inside. Some call it a moment of conversion. Others call it baptism by the Holy Spirit. John Wesley the founder of Methodist called it assurance. Maybe during the season of Advent, we could call it the Spirit of Christ coming into our hearts. But whatever we call it, we will know when it happens to us, because it does cause us to confess our sins and turn ourselves away, over and over, from the trappings of this world so that we can reorient ourselves back toward Christ.

Grace and Peace yo You My Friends

 

You Do Have a Purpose in Life!

Philippians 1.jpgThe book of Philippians was written by the Apostle Paul to the church at Philippi which ranked among Paul’s favorites. This friendly and personal letter stresses that joy can be found in any situation. Paul delivers his own testimony on the meaning of his present life, encourages his readers, and tells us how to live in harmony with others and in obedience to God.

As Paul writes in this letter he tells the people how he thank God every time he remembers them. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1: 3-6

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, they are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.                          Jeremiah 17:7-8

Everything in our lives starts with God, it’s not about you. The purpose drive life which is written by Rich Warren a great author sheds some light to our purpose in life. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were place on this plant, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose. The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point-ourselves. If we begin to search for God with our whole hearts and minds in time he will reveal himself to you and thru times of prayer and scripture readings you will come to understand what God is calling you to do for his kingdom. It doesn’t matter your past at all, it doesn’t matter what education you have received as long as you have the willing heart he can and will use you. Many times people feel if they are chronically ill that God cannot use them, that is so wrong to believe in that one, it you have any type of handicap you cannot be use, I am here to tell you all you, all anyone needs is the willing heart to follow and believe me he will use you. Changing direction in life is not tragic–but losing passion in life is! Something happens along the way. Convictions to change the world downgrade to commitments to pay the bills. Rather than make a difference, we make a salary. Rather than look outward, we look inward. And we don’t like what we see!

But God is not finished with you yet. Oh you may think he is. You may think you’ve peaked. You may think he’s got someone else to do the job. If so, think again! The Bible says, “God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.  Philippians 1:6

Allow God to make the changes in your life for His purpose and not your own, don’t just go through the motions in your life, begin to live for Jesus as his follower, as his disciples and that is when you begin to live, not for yourselves but for Him the “Great I Am”

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

I AM THE TRUE VINE

I AM THE TRUE VINE.png“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 bears fruit he prunes, so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”          (John 15:1-4 NIV)

God made us to be amazing people who learn and explore and create and give and delight and love. He made us full of potential and purpose. He made us to produce fruit. Good fruit that brings glory to God, our vinedresser. He made us to freely give grace, realizing need it ourselves. He made us to add goodness, see the beautiful, and rest in the assurance of His lavish love for us. Never ever for one second did God look at us and say, “My goal for this one is to simply be good enough.” Without Jesus we are selfish, self-focused, and all about our fruit bringing glory to ourselves. We work and strive and exhaust ourselves all for a pursuit that leaves us with hallowed out feeling that there’s more to life than chasing what we want, hoping to feel good enough. In essence, what Jesus is saying in this I AM passage is—–I am doing what you could not do. I am the true Vine. Israel, you were supposed to be the vine, but you couldn’t do it. So, I AM is coming and saying that He is about to step in and fulfill what you could not do. We are in that same boat, my friends. We cannot do what God has called us to do without Him. We are unable to be faithful to His commands. We have failed over and over just like the Israelites failed time and time again. The Jewish people hearing Jesus that day needed Him so step in as the true Vine. And we need Him to do that for us as well.

The last few post here in this site has been to Finding I AM, the book by Lysa TerKeurst and it was a awesome book to read, I would suggest for you to read it yourself. Finding Jesus we come to find out that He is the Great I AM, and apart from him going thru the day to day difficulty of life is never and I mean never easy for an human being. Take your time in discovering who Jesus who, and is, and is to coming, He is THE GREAT I AM, and believe me when you do accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior you will never regret doing it, and he will give you the peace that this world is unable to do.

 

GRACE AND PEACE TO YOU MY FRIENDS.