Friday, January 29, 2010

INTIMACY WITH GOD - PART 2 - Intimate Dependency

“I am the true 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.” – John 15: 1, 2

Jesus used this illustration to show the intimate relationship between the Husbandman/Vinedresser, the Vine and the branch. We can learn so much about this intimacy by studying the natural grapevine.

THE VINEDRESSER/HUSBANDMAN
It is the vinedresser who decides where the vine is planted. He knows the nature of the vine, so he lovingly cares for it, watching over it and rejoicing in the fruit it produces. The vinedresser – not the vine – determines the time for planting, the time for pruning and the time for harvesting.

THE VINE
A fruitful vine can do nothing without the vinedresser, and is completely dependent on him. It can only grow where the vinedresser decides, and can only produce as much as the vinedresser determines. The health of the vine is a reflection of the love and care of the vinedresser. In turn, the vine becomes the source of strength, stability and health for the branch. (Conversely, a weed has no gardener, so it grows wild and can cause harm to cultivated plants!)

THE BRANCH
The branch is simply a vessel used by the vine. It has the same nature as the vine. Through its sap the vine channels its energy to and through the branch. The branch, then, is a reflection of and a smaller version of the vine.

Just as the vine is dependent on the vinedresser, the branch in turn, is totally dependent on the vine. It is only when the branch is one with the vine that it can produce what the vinedresser desires – fruit that reflect the nature of the vine.

INTIMATE DEPENDENCY
Jesus, the True Vine, said of the Father, the Husbandman –  “The Son is able to do nothing of Himself (of His own accord); but He is able to do only what He sees the Father doing, for whatever the Father does is what the Son does in the same way [in His turn].” – John 5:19.

Of you and me Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing.” 


The Father loving and directing the Son...  The Son loving you and providing all that you need... You loving the Son and therefore the Father...  The Father loving you in turn because of your love for His Son, and the fruit that you bear out of your union with Him.
    What divine intimacy!!

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    INTIMACY WITH GOD - PART 1 - Vine or Weed

    “I am the true vine, 
    and My Father is the vinedresser.” 
    John 15: 1

    If Jesus said that He is the True Vine, then it means that there are false vines to which you can become attached. How can you tell when someone is a false vine?

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” – Matthew 7: 15, 16
    • Their motives are to satisfy themselves rather than serving the people of God. Listen carefully to the words of the preacher. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
    “…there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money.” – 2 Peter 2: 1-3
    • Is the focus on getting a blessing rather than on being a blessing to God?
    • Do they claim to be the only ones to have a certain revelation that you will miss out on if you don’t buy their book or cd, or support their ministry?
    • Do they promise that you will be blessed, or your problems will be prayed for and solved….once you send them a “love offering” of no less than $xyz.
    • Do they insist that people come to the altar for healing or a prophesy with an offering in their hand? Often they determine what the offering amount is, and keep lowering it until they ensure that everyone has given. The ones who have the least to give usually get a “God bless you” while the ones who gave thousands of dollars are attended to more.
    • Do they focus on getting their book or cd on the bestseller list?
    “They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.” – 2 Peter 2: 19
    • Humility is a key characteristic of any true teacher.
    • Beware of those who boast about what material possessions they have acquired. God is not impressed with planes, boats, luxury cars and estates.
    • Do you see a lot of worldly influence in the ministry?
    Whenever you read or listen to a messenger who claims to come from God, ask the Holy Spirit to show you if that person is connected to the True Vine or if they themselves are a weed.





    Monday, January 18, 2010

    GOD HEALED MY MARRIAGE - HER STORY

    The following article is a powerful testimony that was written by my dear friend, Allison. It was first posted in June 2009, but is being re-posted with some additions.

    One must agree that relationships are under attack in the church. The great ploy of the enemy is to divide, while the Lord Jesus came to reconcile and unite us with each other and with God – Luke 9:56. In His final prayer before leaving the earth, Jesus prayed in John 17:21 concerning His disciples that we may all be one just as the Father and Jesus are one. I see that particular Word being attacked daily in the church and by extension even outside of the church. The Word of God has advised that offenses must come. See Matthew 18:7. However, we are mandated to walk in love. See John 13:34.

    Marriage is a great institution by the Lord. It is the greatest union that a man and a woman could enter into. It is not just a physical joining but a spiritual one. This joining is the seed or nucleus of family life. God instituted this joining when He was creating the world. He saw that it was not good that man should be alone so he gave the man a wife. This was sacred. He showed the importance of this union by taking a rib from the man in order to form woman and then He breathed HIS breath into them and blessed them saying unto them that they should reproduce after their own kind. In other words, that was the license given to populate the earth – to bring forth duplicates of God’s creation.

    However, I see time and time again a dis-jointing in marriages with many divorces occurring as well as tragic endings to other marriages. Some claim “irreconcilable differences” to be the reason for their separation. The majority of times marriages end because of infidelity. The latter being the only excuse that God would accept in permitting a divorce. See Matthew 19:9.

    My own life attests to the extreme attacks from the enemy even from the inception of my marriage. For seventeen years I was miserable beyond words. Communication problems together with gross infidelity on both sides occurred. Arguments and just downright friction and unhappiness prevailed. In the midst of the negativity and un-pleasantries the Words that caused me to remain married were “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” Whenever I reached to the point of utter frustration, those Words came to me as a reminder. After seventeen years of wedded un-bliss, life began to change, only because I saw God lifting me to another level in Him. He caused me to view this union with different eyes – in other words, the Lord showed me my marriage from HIS perspective.

    Do you know that Adam never had a choice in having Eve for his wife and vice versa Eve never had a choice in choosing her own mate? Adam did not have the freedom to say that he’s looking for a 34-26-38 figured woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. Nor did Eve have the freedom to choose specifics for a husband. Do you know that God chose the two to be united? In this world system, we have a false sense of what marriage really is and how we are to determine who is to be your spouse. We use all sorts of criteria that are irrelevant to God when choosing a mate. The mandate to man from his Creator, was to leave his mother’s house and go find a wife See Matthew 19:5.

    I have realized that we must first love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, and subsequently we should allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit of God – see Romans 8:14. It stands to reason that we ought to be led by the Spirit of God in choosing our spouses.

    We are born with purpose by God. Therefore, the person who God will give us to wed will be the person who will help us to fulfill our purpose and destiny in God. Have you thought of what will happen if we go about choosing a mate ourselves instead of waiting on the leadership of the Holy Ghost? Our destiny would be at stake?

    I had lived for years looking to satisfy my fleshly desires in marriage, but God has shown me that His purpose for bringing me into this world has nothing to do with my unruly flesh. I was created to complete the husband that God has given to me and also for my husband to complete me, and together we are to fulfill our purpose on the earth, as God has already ordained in Eternity. We all have to grow up and out of operating in our flesh and learn to walk according to the Spirit of God’s direction. Walking to fulfill this flesh will cause us to lose our souls in hell. See Romans 8:5-8 and Galatians 5:16-17

    Marriage is something that we work at. It entails a lot of dying to the flesh – in other words, the marriage must include the activation of agape- the God kind of love, in order to live this life victoriously for God. Couples would never agree on all issues because they are individuals, with different likes and dislikes who have come together to form one unit. However, God still expects the couple to live victoriously as husband and wife. The keys to living the victorious life in marriage are as follows –

    • Allow the Word of God to take first place in your life, meaning, choose to obey and do the Word of God at all times simply because it pleases the Father! Read Ephesians 2: 1-7 & Ephesians 5:21-23
    • Approach the marriage in this manner, not for what YOU could GET from your spouse but rather what YOU could OFFER to your spouse. Love is not selfish! Read 1 Cor 13
    • When there is a problem within the relationship …. and there will be problems …. take the matter to God and ask for Him to make things right. Read Psalm 37:4-5
    • Always be quick to apologize whether you are right or in the wrong. God does not judge according to the principles of “right” and “wrong”, He judges our actions against His Word. Read Matthew 5:23-25 Ephesians 4:26-27 Philippians 2:3.
    • Just LOVE your spouse. If we all walk in AGAPE (the God kind of love) we will easily find ourselves responding in a godly manner, when we are faced with the negative stuff that would confront us. The Holy Spirit will always help us to act right…. but we need to have the Word of God in us so that the Holy Spirit will have something to work with. He works with the Word.

    It has been proven by my own life that as we all follow these simple guidelines in marriage, God will intervene and cause each marriage to be successful to His Glory and Honour and so serve to be a beacon to the saved as well as the unsaved. It is indeed possible readers, to live together as man and wife, even in these dark days, and have a successful marriage. God did it for me! He has truly fixed my mess and made it into this message.

    To read her husband George's story please click on the link below:




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