Monday, January 16, 2012

January 15, 2012

I listened to a sermon on change today.  I love when our pastor really looks into himself and finds God.  He said that he had set a different path for us and then God changed his direction.  I have been thinking about change a lot lately.  More than in most years, I think.  Maybe that's because my life continues to change in drastic ways or maybe it's because God is calling all of us to change.

Nothing stays the same.   One of his points today was that it is easy for us to give God the control for things you can't control but what about the things you can control.  I really sat there thinking about it.  I worry about the things I can't control and never do about the things I believe I have control over.  And yet, we are called to rely on God for all things.  To believe in the Holy Trinity and to walk in faith that God is near every day.

This led me to think about the Parable of the Vine and Branches.  I had been thinking about it every since I ended my last blog.  Why does Christ talk about the vine and branches?  What does He really want us to understand?  When you read the words, contemplate what Christ really wants you to know.

I think first though, we must look to the past, many people worked the fields to provide food for the kingdom and themselves.  Most were farmers or shepherds.  Life was sustained by the men and women that produced fruit, vegetables, and meat.  They were vital for survival so it isn't strange for Christ to use the vineyard as the means for us to understand our union with Him.

John 15: 4-11 NIV:

     Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
     I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered, and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
    As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
    These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

Is it possible to have joy during change?  What is Christ really talking about?  He is letting us know that we all have a purpose.  He desires us to bear fruit and to be His disciples.  However, He wants us to understand that He loves us, His Father loves us and that we must remain in Him always.  

I know that when Christ stretches me; I am not always so joyful.  It's hard to have Him knocking and saying, so Lisa when are you going to do what I have asked?  I have tried to protect myself from the world and the cruelty it brings.  I know what it's like to go from a caterpillar to a butterfly.  I honestly can say; I liked being the butterfly more.  But if I am going to say I believe; then I have to stand up for what I believe in.  My desire is to be full of joy and bear fruit.  I am not here for my purpose; I am here for His.  He tells us that if we stand with Him and abide in Him; we will bear fruit and joy.  Wow!  

My prayer today:

Lord, we come before You a sinful people.  I know there are times we all let you down.  As we contemplate today's Scripture, I pray that each woman will look in the mirror and ask themselves, am I abiding in Your love and joy?  It's not easy when you are stretching us to change.  We fail because we worry and lose hope that tomorrow will be joyful again.  But if we hold onto the fact that You are the vine and we are the branches, then we have nothing to fear because You are near.  Help us to recognize that without You, we are nothing.  We ask that today we would bear fruit for You and that we would find the joy that is in You.  Please continue to lead us as we seek Your Holy Face!  We thank you for being our Father and for knowing what we needed to hear today!  AMEN

Until tomorrow.....

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