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 to my Fathers glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." - John 15:5-8This passage of Scripture has a tremendous implication for all who follow Jesus Christ. It is simply this: Your works will produce nothing but firewood! All the energies of the flesh, men's methods and big ministry plans will come to nothing if Jesus Christ is not fully involved. Not even that but if Jesus is not the author and finisher of the work it will still not produce the works that God has ordained for each of his own (Ephesians 2:10). A dead work is a work that does not have faith in it and is not birthed out of a relationship with Jesus Christ. A dead work is something we do for God but not through God. The sad truth is some of us without even knowing it are building a large pile of firewood for that day when God will judge everything by fire (1 Corinthians 3:13). How do we save ourselves from such a shame and embarrassment from a life that is lived for self even in the service of Christ. I believe the key is to stay in a continuing abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. Daily, hourly knowing His presence, voice and promptings of His Spirit. Washing yourself in the words of God so that He may light your path in the way you should go. (Psalm 119:105). Such an abiding relationship is not something we can muster in our own energy it must come from a spiritual poverty in us. Jesus said blessed are the poor in Spirit (Matthew 5:3). Are you a beggar in Spirit, do you need Jesus daily? Is His person your trust or are you trusting in your faith and abilities? It is interesting that our Lord gives us an very powerful earthly example of our relationship with Him. He is the vine, we are not the vine. Some Christians live as though they are the vine, branches and even the roots and its God's job to bless their growth. Yet the truth is we are simply the "branches" a small "twig" perhaps! What an absurdity to see a branch thinking it supports the vine! The works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19) are a contrast to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). A fruit does not work to grow it just abides and naturally it grows as God intended it. When we work and strive it is usually us and not the work of God. The works that God desire to manifest through us are works that are impossible (Mark 10:27), So that He can get all the glory. Such a "work" is by faith and therefore it is pleasing to God and is a fruit borne by Him (the vine) and not our self-effort and striving.Hudson Taylor stated this truth well: "The branch of the vine does not worry, and toil, and rush here to seek for sunshine." Are you resting dear believer in this rest of God? Are you trusting the Lord to bear "much fruit" in your life? It is only as we allow the life of Jesus Christ to flow through us that we will be pleasing to Him and accomplish His perfect will. Many of us speak of the desire to glory God and even pray it much. Let us realize the best way to glorify Him will be to even stop working and rest in His grace and sufficiency. Come to Jesus Christ today, speak to Him tenderly from your heart. Let Him know your weariness and strivings (Matthew 11:28), he knows and understands and wants to release you to be very fruitful in His Fathers vineyard. Lord Jesus, I come to you right now with a weary heart. I am worn. I am tired. I know I have strived in my energy so much apart from you. Forgive me for not coming to you, not abiding in you. Grant me your abiding presence, allow me to hear your still small voice again. Forgive me the sin of self-reliance, self-effort, self-dependence. Allow me to bear much fruit again in your vineyard for your glory. Amen.The Lord will response willingly to all who will rest from their works and desire the greater way of trusting and yielding their rights to have the abiding power and presence of Christ.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
Thanks for the "word" greg. It proves yet again that someone that may NOT necessarily have a (high profile) platform ministry is nevertheless more than ABLE to deliver a word in season - to all the saints!! Keep up the GOOD preaching.Thanks!!!
Thanks Greg very encouraging and a timely reminder that we can not bear fruit on our own unless we are in the vine. We have no confidence in the flesh but we can do all things through Christ who strengths us!Blessings in Christ!
Very refreshing and soul encouraging.
A dead work is a work that does not have faith in it and is not birthed out of a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Thanks for the post Greg, although its not you that I am hearing in the words written in the post. I hear the Holy Spirit confirming what he has been already making me aware of.... Over the last year the Holy Spirit has been reminding me that God has a calling on my life, I have been aware of that and I having been preparing for the day that I make that step. Sounds logical and it makes sense, but I have found that as I was preparing that the more that I prepared the more and more things came up until it's became overwhelming.It was yesterday while listening to a preacher preach from the verses Luke 9:57-60. The words that stood out to me where "Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first". That was me, God I hear you calling me "BUT LET ME FIRST" prepare and make all the arrangements in my own strength. I had it all wrong so I have decided that I will do no more preparation, I am ceasing from my works and will only pray until I found the place of surrender, to him and his calling.