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Joined: 2002/12/11
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 109 days until the Lilburn, GA, USA Revival Conference

109 days until the Lilburn, GA, USA Revival Conference

Jesus said, "I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman" (John 15:1). We have not only the glorified Son of God in His divine fullness, out of whose fullness of life and grace we can draw – this is very wonderful – but there is something more blessed still. We have the Father, as the Husbandman, watching over our abiding in the Vine, over our growth and fruitbearing. It is not left to our faith or our faithfulness to maintain our union with Christ. The God who is the Father of Christ, and who united us with Him – will see to it that the branch is what it should be. He will enable us to bring forth the fruit we were appointed to bear. Hear what Christ said of this: "…every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit" (v. 2). More fruit is what the Father seeks; more fruit is what the Father will Himself provide. It is for this that He, as the Vinedresser, cleanses the branches.

The one great work that a vinedresser has to do for the branch every year is to prune it. To abide in Christ and to bring forth much fruit and to be able to ask whatsoever it will, the one thing the branch must do, is to trust in and yield itself to this divine cleansing. What is it that the vinedresser cuts away with his pruning knife? Nothing but the wood that the branch has produced – true wood with the true vine nature in it. This must be cut away because it draws away the strength and life of the vine, and hinders the flow of the sap to the grapes. The wood of the branch must decrease, that the fruit for the vine may increase. Death is the way to life; gain comes through sacrifice. The rich growth of wood must be cut off and cast away that the life more abundant may be seen in the cluster.

Child of God, there is in you that which appears perfectly innocent and legitimate, and which yet so draws out your interest and strength that it must be pruned and cleansed away. It is only as our own will and strength and effort and pleasures, even where these appear perfectly natural and sinless, are cut down so that the whole energies of our being are free and open to receive the sap of the Heavenly Vine, the Holy Spirit, that we shall bear much fruit. It is in the full and willing submission to God’s holy pruning knife that we shall come to what Christ chose and appointed us for – to bear fruit, that whatsoever we ask the Father in Christ’s name, He may give to us.

Christ tells us what the pruning knife is: "Ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you" (v. 3). What heart-searching words Christ had spoken to His disciples on love and humility, on being the least, and, like Himself, the servant of all, on denying self, and taking the cross, and losing the life. Through His Word the Father had cleansed them, cut away all confidence in themselves or the world, and prepared them for the inflowing and filling of the Spirit of the Heavenly Vine. It is not we who can cleanse ourselves; God is the Vinedresser. We may confidently entrust ourselves to His care. -Andrew Murray


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 2008/7/3 22:34Profile

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