Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 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.
 

It’s Happy Day! Yes friends, it’s the happiest day of the week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the day when He rested after creating His universe and all therein. When He looked at it, He smiled contentedly, like a workman knowing that he’s done a good job and said: ‘It is good!’ The Lord also wants us to rest on this day, or at least one day of the week, to renew our strength and energy, because He did not make us to be machines, constantly working. 

And the best way to regroup for next week is by joining fellow believers in worship and praise at the Lord’s sanctuary, His house of prayer, where we can commune together as one body, Christ’s church, His vehicle for saving the world. So let’s all do our very best to get to the Lord’s house some time today nuh, so that we can sing and praise and worship and exalt His name and find succour and confidence and grace and mercy and forgiveness and LOVE for our weary and burdened souls! 

Now let’s commence our proceedings with the usual, a song of praise and thanksgiving. And today it’s something from the Gaither Homecoming Festival of some time back, sung by my latest favourite gospel singer, Jessy Dixon. The song’s aptly titled, ‘I can’t even walk without you holding my hand.’ Yes friends we talking about Jesus here, so let’s get soulful and sincere as we declare these awesome words of truth in sweet harmony nuh. 

All together now: ‘I thought, that number one, would surely be me. I thought I could be, what I wanted to be. I thought I, could build on life’s sinking sand. But I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I thought that I, could do a lot on my own, I thought, I could make it, all alone. I thought, thought of myself as a mighty big man, But I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand, For the mountain, is too high, and the valley, is too wide, Down on my knees, I learned how to stand, Because I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. 

Ohh my Jesus, I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand, For the mountain, is too high, and the valley, is too wide, Down on my knees, I learned how to stand, Because I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. Yes my Saviour, I can’t walk, without you holding my hand. Thank You, for teaching me that valuable lesson, through your Word!’ 

Ah mih people, that was wonderfully soulful! (smile) And Jesus gratefully acknowledged our praise with a nod of His head and a shy smile, because He still doesn’t consider Himself number One! That’s the Father’s position, and He’s not foolish like Lucifer and try to overthrow Him. Anyway, those words are gospel truth, because without Jesus, we’re nothing and can do nothing, as He so plainly tells us in John’s gospel, re the vine and the branches. 

‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 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.’ (John 15:1-2) Now that’s a tough row to how because if you don’t bear fruit, you’re taken away, and if you do bear fruit, you’re still pruned, so you can bear even more and better fruit. As I heard Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) say the other day: ‘You’re pruned if you, and pruned if you don’t.’ But that’s the Father’s way, and also the general way of husbandmen in the physical world. 

And Jesus continues: ‘Now ye are clean through 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. 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.’ (John 15:3-5) Don’t you like how Jesus doesn’t mince words, just puts it plainly and clearly? ‘I am the vine and you are the branches…without me you can do nothing!’ 

And that’s the living truth friends. Remember in our song today, everything was about I thought I could do this, and I thought I could do that, but then we had a surprising and sudden awakening; only when we got on our knees were we able to stand, and even then we couldn’t walk without holding Jesus’ hand. And that’s how it is if we want to be a fruitful part of His LOVE Revolution! And it’s interesting how Jesus used the grape vine as a powerful example, but in the agricultural society that was Israel back then, everybody would certainly understand what He meant. 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘15:5. The uniqueness of the Christian experience results from the union of Christ and the believer. This is expressed in the scripture as Christ being in the believer and the believer in Christ. Ten times Paul uses the Greek preposition ‘sun’ (together) to describe this relationship. Believers were crucified (Gal.2:20), dead (Col.2:20) buried (Rom.6:4), quickened or made alive (Eph.2:1-5; Col.2:13), raised (Col.3:1; Eph.2:6), seated (Eph.2:6), and glorified (Rom.8:17) together with Christ. 

Illustration: Jesus used the image of the vine and its branches to describe His union with the believer. Application: On the basis of this union, the apostle Paul showed how the successful Christian life can be opened with four key words in Romans 6: ‘know’ (vs.6), ‘reckon’ (vs.11), ‘yield’ (vs.13), and ‘obey’ (vs.17). The Christian can conquer sin because Christ lives in him (Gal.2:20). First Ref. John 7:37-38; Primary Ref. John 15:1-5; cf. 1 John 5:13).’

Lots of interesting scriptures there for us to check our friends. (smile) But if you really want to make a difference on Jesus’ vine you will have to know His Word, especially as it pertains to you being in Him and He being in you, for remember you can’t do anything without Him. And we’ll close with these words from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians that also highlight that very salient fact. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God;’ (2. Cor.3:5) Wise words to live and die by my precious saints of God! Much LOVE!

…only as Christ lives and moves in us…and we live and move in Him…can we do great things for the kingdom…

 

 

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…