Category Archives: Truth

Bear Fruit

Jesus tells us in John 15:1-2, “I am the vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

In verse 2, I had to take a pause. I have read that verse many times. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit”, Jesus is saying, “the Father takes away.”

Wait! Wait a minute. If we are in Jesus, how can that happen?! My take on it is… some of those branches may “appear” to be connected to Jesus, the Vine… but are not—those branches are “dead” and will never produce fruit. Perhaps they are those who sit in a comfy pew and sing all the right “religious” songs and say all the right “churchy” things, but their hearts are far from God. (Matthew 15:8-9 and Isaiah 29:13) God, the vinedresser removes those branches, so that the “living” branches, those truly “abiding” in Jesus can accomplish their purpose.

Cucumber on the vine

Have you ever looked at a vine? Let’s look at one of my cucumbers on the vine…(Isn’t this baby cucumber so cute!) When the branches stay connected and get all their nutrients from the vine—they bear fruit, they bud, blossom into a flower, and through a maturing process—become a full sized cucumber—identical fruit to what that vine produces. They must stay connected. They cannot just show up on Sunday, grab a few sips of the Holy Spirit and expect to bear the fruit of the Spirit. It is an “all in” relationship. NOT a religion or merely an affiliation with a church.

In both the cucumber vine, and in our relationship with Jesus, we cannot just be “around” or “attached” to the concept of Jesus. That is not enough. I think it is possible for a person to claim the name of Jesus and miss Who He Is. The Great I Am!

I think it is possible for a person to go to church and associate with believers, even think they are doing all the right things, yet not have the life-giving benefits of being fully attached and fully abiding in the TRUE vine.

Many years ago, I had an ivy. I was watering it one day and as I moved it to soak the soil, one of the branches broke. Not all the way through, but almost. It was such a beautiful branch, healthy and green. I did not want to lose it. Thinking I was so smart, (bear with me) I got out my Scotch tape and taped it back together. You can probably guess what happened. For a few days, all seemed well. It was going to make it!

Nope, sad story. At the end of a week being only partially attached to the main vine, it shriveled up and died.

We can be like that. We can join a church, sit in a pew every Sunday, tithe, sing all the praise songs, shout out an amen when the message is good, and yet—be so far from Jesus. We can be attached to the church, or attached to the idea of God but not connected to the Source of life. Eventually, God the vinedresser, the One with ultimate knowledge and authority—will remove those false branches and discard them.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be discarded. How can we bear fruit?

Jesus says in John 15:6 (NKJV) “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.”

We must “abide” in Him and He will abide in us. His life source flowing through us. Producing the fruit of the Spirit as we totally depend on the Vine for all things, all direction, all wisdom, all power to accomplish His will in our life.

Jesus was crystal clear in saying, We can do NOTHING without HIM. And in case we think “we” chose Him. He goes further in John 15:16 (NKJV). “You did not chose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.”

He has all the POWER, He gives us DIRECTION, He has CHOSEN us. He has APPOINTED us. The FRUIT comes from Him. Fruit that comes from Him REMAINS. It does not die on the vine but is His LIGHT to others. His LIFE BLOOD flowing through us produces FRUIT that RESEMBLES HIM! How cool is that!

We need to fully obey and abide in Him. Hold tight to the VINE. He does the rest! THANK YOU, JESUS!

You are CHOSEN, & APPOINTED to BEAR HIS FRUIT! You are EQUIPPED, now GO!

See you in the garden!

Keep Seeking God

I have written on this topic before. To seek the Lord with all that I am. I keep going back to it for myself…SEEK…to seek Him in ALL things. I struggle to keep my eyes on Him,. When life is going smooth, do I need to still seek Him? I can handle life right now, it’s all good…or so I think…can you relate?

I seek His comfort and strength when I am weary and emotionally drained.

Do I seek Him when I am so full of praise and joy because I have remembered that He is an Awesome God? I searched my heart and I cannot say that i always do that.

To seek Him means to build a relationship with Him, to want to be with Him. If I seek Him often, longing to get to know Him, then when I am feeling low, or want something, He will listen. Not that I will get all that I ask for, or in the way that I would want. That is Not the main reason to seek Him. I believe it is vital to seek the Lord in my walk, in our walk with Him because we want to know Him, and we want to grow closer to Him and serve Him. Why do I say that…why should we seek Him? What is the benefit? Here are but a few…

Psalm 16:11 (NKJV) “You (meaning God, our heavenly Father) will show me (you and I) the path of life, (life through the death and resurrection of JESUS) in Your presence (At His feet, in His Throne Room, in the middle of you busy life—you focus on Him!) is fullness of joy (Overflowing, cannot hold anymore); at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (words) added by me.

Wow, who would not want direction to the path of life and fullness of joy! I know I would! The path to life through Jesus. The path away from death and sin! Joy, not just a fleeting moment of happiness, but fullness of Joy in His Presence. Time seeking God and spending time in His Presence is pure, overflowing JOY! Praise His Holy Name!

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.” Lamentations 3:25 (NKJV)

God is good to us as we wait and seek Him. To the soul who seeks Him. Our very core of our person, that chooses to seek God. We should be careful not to seek Him only to get what we want or to have Him be like a genie in a bottle to do our bidding. It is in our best interest to seek God to get to know Him, to receive wise counsel and direction from Him, to want to spend time with Him.

King David pleads with God in Psalm 27:7-9 (NKJV),

“Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me and answer me.                                   When you said, “Seek My face.”  My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD I will seek.”                                            Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger;                                                   You have been my help; do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my Salvation.”

“I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 (NKJV)

When we cry out to God as we seek His face, He will hear us. Let that sink in! The God of all Creation hears you! He hears you and He gives an answer!

There have been times in my life where I have felt that no one was hearing what I was saying. Maybe they politely listened, but they did not hear what my heart was saying. God hears what our heart, our deepest inner place, is saying in the way a father would. A perfect Father who is God! How comforting.

God goes beyond hearing us…He will have mercy upon us and answer us. He will never leave us or forsake us. Although life will not instantly become perfect, we will have God with us.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” James 4:8a (NKJV)

When we seek God, we draw near to Him. We come into His presence to ask Him what His plan is for us. What He thinks of our situation. What His wise counsel and direction is for each moment. He is with us, willing to guide and instruct. Willing to give us Salvation, new life, His peace and strength and many other good things, IF we SEEK Him to genuinely want to know Him more.

May you be richly blessed by God as you seek Him.

God Rejoices Over You

“The LORD, your God is in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)

The LORD is in our midst! Right in the middle of where you are, where I am. He is all around us, and He is in all things and Creator of all. If you call Him LORD (as I do and and I hope you do!) we, you and I are His children…AND He is in the middle of our lives. When we allow Him to have His rightful place as King of our lives, He is intimately involved, as a Father would be, in our lives. He is aware of everything and is carefully watching.

“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3 (NKJV)

He first & foremost wants to save us. Salvation comes through God’s Son, Jesus Christ…His death on the cross for our sin (Romans 5:8) , AND even more important is His RESSURECTION on Easter morning! He arose from the dead and gave us the opportunity to share His inheritance and His Father in Heaven! Though we die a earthly death when our time has come, we have a forever home in Heaven! (John 14:1-6)

We are saved from God’s wrath. As His redeemed child, He looks at us with love, compassion and mercy. We are made righteous through Jesus! We are saved from eternal damnation and hell. Did you know that we are also saved from the power of sin to control us? It is true! Satan, the evil one has no power over us. We will still be attacked and tempted because we live in the world, but through the Power of the Holy Spirit living within us, we can resist, we CAN OVERCOME! (John 16:5-15)

Look at the verse again, there is so much more! God rejoices over you with gladness and singing. I can just picture Him…can you?! Gleefully rejoicing over me, rejoicing in all of the wonder of you…raising His voice and singing over you, His beloved child! Wow! I pray that you are letting that sink in. How special you are. How loved, how wanted you are!

One more thing I want you to notice in this verse…“He will quiet you with His love.”

Have you ever been so anxious or worried that your heart is racing—what is going to happen??;

So scared you can’t catch your breath—will I survive this??;

So sad or heartbroken that you can’t think straight and your mind is churning in a million directions like the swirl of a tornado—will this drown me??

Lift your head in hope my beautiful friend!

If you have children or grandchildren, think on this. Remember when they were little and they woke up scared, maybe they had a bad dream and they were unsettled, anxious. Did you go to them and just hold them close, smoothing back the hair across their forehead, whispering words of love and comfort. I bet you did! As they got older, maybe they were sick or were hurt? Older still, an issue at school, breakup, disappointment…a long list of hurts and noisy times in our lives. I am speaking as a Mom and Grammy, however I am sure this is felt by Dads and Grampa’s, as well as many other relationships & family dynamics. I had such love swell up within me for my children, my grandchildren. My pure, unselfish love for them, a love that quieted their anxious thoughts, chased away their fears and soothed their sorrows.

How much more does God do that for us! A love not like the world loves. Deeper than human love. A forever love. An all-encompassing love. A love for who you are, right where you are, especially in the middle of your mess, loved unconditionally. A wonderful, life changing love…a secure, warm, constant, sustaining, solid, eternal, comforting, able to quiet your anxious thoughts, able to give you His peace (His quiet) as you face whatever it is. That kind of love.

God quiets us with His love. when the world is tossing us, we need peace. His peace. The quietness within that let’s us know we will get through this.

JESUS tells us “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubles, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 (NKJV)

PLUS, you get God…you have Him in your midst. Oh, what a wonderful God and Savior!

But Without Faith, Part 2

Welcome back! This is part 2 of a blog I published about a month ago entitled, “But without Faith” where we discussed what faith is. Today we will continue with this topic and look at answering the following questions:

Where does faith come from?

How do you and I get faith?

How does our faith grow?

First, let us recap a bit and look at some definitions for faith:

allegiance to a duty or person,

belief and trust in and loyalty to God,

a firm belief in something for which there is no proof.

The Bible tells us that, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

If we cannot see faith…how can we get it? To have the faith that is talked about in the Bible, we must open the Book and read the Words of God. As I delve into this topic, please know that this is not based on my own opinion. I highly encourage you to open God’s Word and read for yourself, that is where we find our answers. It is the Holy Spirit that teaches, not I.  I can pick a topic and write about it, but I must rely on the Holy Spirit (and so must you) to impart the truth. He does this by the revealing truths in the inspired Word of God.

The Holy Spirit calls you, sparks your interest, guides you and teaches you.  Do not be afraid to dig deep. The Holy Spirit is your Helper, He will help you to understand.

As a child of God, He longs for you to know Him. Take out your Bible and let’s get started.

Where does faith come from?  

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God.”    Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV)

Faith comes from God in the form of a gift. We would not have faith if not for God having His plan and reaching down to offer it to us. We then have the option to choose to accept faith through salvation. Salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ.

God uses faith as the way to bring salvation to His people. God gives faith because of His grace and mercy, because He loves us, His creation, so very much. He desires for us to have a way to know Him.

How do you and I get faith?

“So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” Romans 10:17

As we hear the Word of God and the Salvation plan, which is what Jesus accomplished on the cross, we are given faith. Faith to believe that there is something more to life than just existing and going through the motions of living day to day…faith to have HOPE in Someone bigger than us, Someone who has a unique plan for each of His beloved children!

It is the Word of God that produces faith. A person could receive faith while reading about Jesus in the  Bible or by hearing a sermon teaching the Good News or by you or I sharing the story of Jesus—any time the true gospel of Jesus is communicated, there is potential for faith! How exciting! That you and I can be part of the chain of events that God has orchestrated!

How does our faith grow?

If we are not in control of even getting faith on our own…how can you and I increase our faith. I wish to be more faithful.

We can pray and ask for more faith just as the apostles asked of Jesus in Luke 17:5,

“And the apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’”

Our faith grows as we build our lives on the truth of Jesus Christ, what we are taught about Him in and directly from God’s Word. We model our lives after Him. It is built on the truth of what God says, not what man says. When we are listening to pastors, preachers, spiritual songs, or fellow Christians, we must hold those words/that teaching up to God’s Word. We must stay away from teaching that is not in line with Biblical truths. We need to be careful about who is teaching us.

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7

We need to always remember that faith was given to each believer as a gift. We cannot take credit for it or tout it in the face of others or think of ourselves in a prideful way.

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 (NKJV)

By knowing our saving faith comes from God alone, it should encourage us as Christians to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought; but remember that God decides the measure of faith each one receives.

So, as we can see from reading God’s Word…that receiving faith comes from God and our faith increases by spending time in His Word.

I want to end on a note of thanksgiving. We should be thankful always for the faith God has given us, thankful that He chooses to use us in ministering to others. It is a privilege and honor to serve the Lord and His people.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 1:12-14

May God bless you with wisdom and increased faith as you dig deep into His Word.

Abounding in Hope

This world is full of disappointments, heartaches and sadness. Wouldn’t it be great to have hope?! How about to be abounding in hope?

Abounding means to have or possess in great quantity, existing in or providing a great or plentiful quantity or supply.

I do not know your situation or what you have been dealing with, but God knows. There have been times in my life when I have felt a sense of hopelessness, stemming from helplessness. I think we all go through it at one time or another. The important thing to note, is to NOT stay in the state or feeling of hopelessness. Easy to say, but harder to do.

How can you and I find hope? The world shifts under our feet, people let us down, we let people down, life is hard. Can someone just tell me how?!

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

God has the answer. in fact, He IS the answer. He IS a God of hope and He fills His children with hope. Filled, not just a tiny quantity…but abounding in hope! He knows we need it to survive and thrive here. Not that all of our problems magically disappear but it puts them in a brighter perspective, knowing that God IS in control.

We are given a hope that does not disappoint, because this hope comes from Gods love directly poured into our hearts, it is a hope that helps us hold on and endure hardships and pain.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5 (NKJV)

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and we walk with God, we receive within us, the power of the Holy Spirit.

After Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven, a Helper was given to all believers. Look up John 16:5-15 and see the Power believers are given!

The Holy Spirit was given to us by God to help us. If we choose to allow the Holy Spirit to guide and help; we can experience joy and peace during our darkest times. He will walk with us through our troubles, sorrows and heartaches.

We need to hold on to hope. There will come a day when all will be made right and evil will be defeated and forever erased!

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, as the former things have passed away.” Revelations 21:4 (NKJV)

May you abound in the hope of God, and may He fill you with His peace and joy.

How can we save our Country

How Can We save Our Country Part 1

We are in such crazy times right now. I cannot believe the totally unimaginable, never in a million years would I believe if you told me this would happen here…is happening right now or new “laws” are being enacted that are ridiculous and a detriment to society and life as we know it in this God-blessed USA.

We need to band together as believers in Jesus, in believers of His Hope. We are not each other’s enemies! What can we do to save our country?

2 Chronicles 7:14 & 15 says, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”

God says, “if My people…” His people. Those who call Him LORD. Those who are “Called by My name” those who profess belonging to Jesus. “Will humble themselves” Admit we are wrong and disobedient. “Pray and seek My face” Look away from self and toward God and His ways. “and turn from their wicked ways” Turn from our sin and repent from our reckless disregard for our Creator and lack of love for each other. “Then I will hear from heaven and heal their land.” He will hear our repentant cries, and with God as our guide, He will heal our land, bring it back to its former glory…I like this definition, “to become sound or healthy again.”

Also, look at verse 15. I never really paid much notice to it before. Today it stopped me.

“Now My eyes (The LORD’S eyes) will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.” Pray right where I am, right where you are and for where you and I are. In this country we love and perhaps, have taken for granted. We are the last stronghold for democracy in the world. If America goes own, we all go down. There is NO place to escape to.

Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the LORD while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.”

The way we have been treating God in this country is shameful. We have pushed Him out of our schools, our government, and our homes. We have even allowed the “state” to keep us from assembling as a body in church.  Is in no surprise to see that He has turned His head away and left us to our own evil devises.

Join me in my next blog post to see what else we can do as His people.

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