Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2019 John 15:5.

John 15:5.   ​I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
 

Well it seems like another ‘riney’ day is in the offing! Brother, when is it going to stop eh? Doesn’t look like anytime soon. But who cares eh? Oh, how I dislike that term that’s so popular in our current parlance! Because we all ought to care, since too much rain means flooding and a whole set of other problems. Some places up around the nation’s capital of Ottawa are still flooded, and some parts up there recently received a telling blow from a powerful tornado! 

So why don’t we care eh? Because we’re selfish and greedy and not truly Christian-like! Let’s try and change that nuh by praying for those who are suffering from the recent ravages of the unpredictable and contrary weather, while helping in any other capacity that we can. That’s the Christian thing to do. And to help us do that, here is a prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled, ‘I Will Move…’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you Lord! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, therein lies the true way of life…in sincere partnership and cooperation with Almighty God, our Creator and Provider! Without Him in our lives we’re absolutely nothing! He made us, with a plan for every life, and He still controls them even though we have free will. Nothing happens in our lives without His knowledge and acceptance. 

Granted, some of the things He allows to happen are tough and burdensome, but those things are just tests and ways and means of building our faith, since we only grow during times of adversity. So if He didn’t allow adversarial things in our lives, we would just stay as Christian babies, forever drinking milk and not being able to eat solid food. (smile) 

And that’s not His plan. His plan is to have us all become strong and mature and adult in the faith – as Christ-like as His Son. But in keeping with that desire, our God is so wonderful that He never gives us more than we can bear, or if it seems so, He is always there to help us bear it. That’s why it’s ever so important to have meaningful and constant communication with Him through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Listen to Jesus tell it nuh: ‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman (vinedresser). Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through (because of) the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ (John 15:1-4) 

Oh friends, don’t you like how Jesus just puts it out there, without any fuss or fancy! And then He rubs it in further: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ 

And that’s oh so true my brethren! Without Jesus first and foremost in our lives we are incapable of producing much, if any positive fruit. But with Him taking a meaningful part in our lives, we abiding in Him, and He in us, oh, we’re capable of producing enormous amounts of good and wonderful fruit! 

And Jesus does not leave us wondering about what happens if we don’t abide in him, and He in us: ‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.’ (John 15:6) And the scholars tell us that that verse ‘refers to the judgement of believers at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10).’ 

So basically speaking, ‘Jesus explains the divine-human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year, branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

So the disciples would have understood exactly what He meant. That’s another wonderful things about Jesus; His analogies are always about things that we can understand, things that are prevalent in our lives, so we don’t have to go wondering what He’s talking about. 

The long and short of the story friends, is that walking with Jesus involves constant movement and growth, no sitting on one’s laurels admiring one’s earlier successes. If you’re not bearing good fruit, then the Father will cut you off and throw you away. But even if you’re bearing good fruit, He will prune you occasionally so that you can bear even more fruit! So you’re in a no win situation! Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t! (smile) 

The Father requires constant growth and the bearing of much fruit, and He pursues His plan with great conviction and sense of purpose, therefore we need to pull up our britches and get with the programme, if we say we are, or want to be true believers! Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my people, let’s be wise and keep our eyes fixed steadfastly on Jesus nuh, and know that the future with Him will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…oh Jesus…oh Jesus…what would we do without you eh…

 

Advertisements

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 December 2016 John 15:5.

John 15:5.    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Ah friends, like this snow business seems to be rather serious yes, because it visited us again last night. Chuh! Not as much as over the weekend, but enough to make life somewhat difficult in the early morning rush hour. 

Some people might be happy with that, since it might mean that we’ll finally have a traditional white Christmas ten days hence. 

Over the last few years, that hasn’t been as regular an occurrence as in days gone by, and some of the purists have been disappointed. But what to do eh? If it’s winter, then there’s a very real probability of snow. (smile) 

Now here’s a timely reminder from my ‘P.S. I LOVE  YOU Poster, which says: ‘Friends are like a beautiful garden. They require regular care.’ 

And is that ever true my people! Unless we spend time fertilizing those friendships that we treasure, they’ll eventually grow weeds and disintegrate into what resembles a dilapidated and forgotten garden. We need to keep those lines of communication open with our friends, just like we need to keep them open to God. 

So, especially at this festive and friendly Christmas season, let’s remember to reach out to our friends and family with whom we haven’t had any recent communication, so the beautiful garden we have blossoming with them, won’t be changed into a weed filled jungle. 

Remember, without good relationships an important part of us goes missing and makes us less than whole. And talking about relationships, the most important one in our life is that which we have with Jesus. 

Listen to Him explain it in our Bit. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ 

And that is indisputable truth my people! For without Jesus as the leading and guiding light of our lives, we are able to do precious little in our own human strength. 

Hear Him continue His discourse. ‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. 

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue ye (abide) in my LOVE.’ (John 15:6-9) 

Oh friends, what a wonderful promise! If we abide in Jesus and He in us, then we’ll be His disciples, be fruitful and glorify the Father, and the Father will grant us our requests. How awesome is that eh! 

But we need to remember that last proviso: to abide in Jesus’ LOVE! Just like the Father LOVED Him, and He LOVED us, we need to continue LOVING Him and each other. Without that LOVE shining forth my fellow believers, all that we claim to do for Jesus is of no account. 

Now here are a couple of explanations from the scholars re those verses above. ’15:6. This refers to the judgement of the believers at the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10).’ 

15:7. The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf. 16:23-26). The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’ 

And as we’re talking about bringing forth fruit for Christ, let’s just share Bruh Paul’s immortal words on the subject. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness (courtesy, consideration), temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Yeh mih people that’s what is expected of us in terms of bearing fruit for Christ. And the scholars add. ‘5:22. The word fruit is significant for three reasons. (1) It means the result, the product, outcome, or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. 

(2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is expected to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the Spirit does not cultivate these values in the believer’s life overnight.’ 

Yeh, I know we’re complaining that that’s a lot of fruit to bear, but as the scholars say, it doesn’t grow overnight, or all at once, but like real fruit takes time, diligence and energy. 

And as Jesus promised, if we abide in Him, and He in us, we will have the help of all heaven and earth to produce the fruit He desires of us. So there’s no need to worry; just stay close to Jesus, and all will be well. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

In unison friends: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Wow! It couldn’t get any better than that my brethren! So let’s take it all to heart nuh, and put it into solid action. Much LOVE!

…the bearing of fruit for Jesus…it’s such a wonderful process…and the rewards are so unique and exceptional…