April 28, 2010
April 25, 2010
Abide in the Vine (by Henry Blackaby www.henryblackaby.com)
"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." (John 15:5)
There are those who feel that they must be constantly laboring for the Lord in order to meet God’s high standards. Jesus gave a clear picture of what our relationship to Him ought to be like. He is the vine, the source of our life. We are the branches, the place where fruit is produced. As we receive life from Christ, the natural, inevitable result is that fruit is produced in our lives.
In our zeal to produce “results” for our Lord, we sometimes become so intent on fruit production that we neglect abiding in Christ. We may feel that “abiding” is not as productive or that it takes too much time away from our fruit production. Yet Jesus said that it is not our activity that produces fruit, it is our relationship with Him. Jesus gave an important warning to His disciples. He cautioned that if they ever attempted to live their Christian life apart from an intimate relationship with Him, they would discover that they ceased to produce any significant results. They might exert great effort for the kingdom of God, yet when they stopped to account for their lives, they would find only barrenness. One of the most dramatic acts Jesus ever performed was cursing a fig tree that had failed to produce fruit (Mark 11:14). Are you comfortable in abiding, or are you impatient to be engaged in activity? If you will remain steadfastly in fellowship with Jesus, a great harvest will be the natural by-product.
April 23, 2010
April 21, 2010
April 17, 2010
On another occasion after Moody spoke in the church he was attending, a deacon told him that he would best serve God by keeping still. Another person told him he should stop speaking publicly saying "You make too many mistakes in grammar." Moody's response was "I know I make mistakes, and I lack many things, but I'm doing the best I can with what I've got." Moody was a man who was fully surrendered to God, and whose availability far surpassed his ability.
Billy Graham is considered the greatest evangelist of all time. God has used him to reach millions for Christ. Yet he was a simple country boy raised on a dairy farm in North Carolina. He accepted Christ at the age of 16, but afterwards he was turned down for membership in a local youth group because he was considered "too worldly". He started college at Bob Jones University, where he was almost expelled. Bob Jones Sr. said this to him: "At best, all you could amount to would be a poor country Baptist preacher somewhere out in the sticks." He finished college at Wheaton College, and although he ended up being a great evangelist he never received any formal theological or seminary education.
How could these 2 men with such humble beginnings turn out to be some of the most fruitful and successful servants of the Lord ? Only by God's grace, and only by the all-powerful hand of the Lord. God's hand was upon these men in a powerful way. God loves to use plain, ordinary people in His work. When God does great and miraculous things through plain, ordinary people everyone knows it is God who did it, and He gets all of the glory and honor and praise.