Saturday, August 20, 2011

You are the Vine

You, Lord, are the Vine. I am the branch.  I draw all my life, all my nourishment from You.  I live because You live.  I grow because You grow me.  I bear fruit because You produce fruit through my life. I love because You first loved me.  I gain wisdom because You reveal wisdom to me.

I am a vessel for Your love, for Your life, for Your truth, for Your way and will on earth as it is in heaven.  You are my food and my drink.  You sustain me, Lord.  You fill me overflowing with Yourself.  I am Yours.

I can do nothing apart from You, Lord. When I am doing, I know it is Your doing through me.  You expressing Yourself.  Your doing what only You can do. You setting people free. You binding up the broken. You revealing truth so people can be set free.  You, Lord.  And I get to walk with You as You work through me. You are the Vine, and I am simply a branch. But I am a royal branch, a branch formed from You.

I am born from above, created by God.  I am the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus for good works. You prepared these works beforehand, before the foundation of the earth, that I may walk in them.  I walk in them, knowing they are impossible for me, but not impossible for You.  I can do all things through You. All things. Nothing is impossible for me in You.

You are the Vine, and I am a branch....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In dying, I live

I've been thinking about God and His infinite wisdom. His grace in saving me. His closeness and His power in my life.  He wants my complete devotion, my heart, soul, and strength. All that I am.  He wants all of me.  And in giving Him myself, accepting death of all I was, all I think I know, all I thought I wanted, I receive all He is in abundant, pulsing, life in and through me.  In dying, I live. In living, I glory in Him alone.

Why is it so hard for us to be willing to die if in dying, we live.  Surrendering all earthly experiences, all earthly wisdom, all earthly life, in complete abandonment to the King of Kings, the One who died and rose again.  In dying, we enter into the resurrection life of our King and He lives His life in and through us.

Jesus said, those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying.  Until we are willing to listen, we do not hear.  Until we give up all confidence in worldly wisdom, we continue to seek a way instead of THE WAY.  We seek a method or a formula, a way that seems good to us,a way that is according to our schedule and in our control.  But God is out of control and wild. How do we contain God?  He must contain us. He must reign in us, not the other way around.  When we die, then we live.

Paul writes to the Galatian church:  "For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain" (Galatians 2:19-21). The good news is that, in Christ, we have died already. We no longer live.  We do not have to try to die, or perform some religious discipline to die. We have died in Christ. Our work is to believe this truth, not try to die. Our old self is dead and gone and we have been made new by the power of God.  We are a new creation in Christ and the life we live we live to Him alone.  We do not set aside the grace of God and try to attain, by works of the law, what we have already received by grace.  

God did for us what we could never do. Now our job is to rest in what He has done and give Him praise. He continues this work in us, growing us and conforming us to the image of His Son. He just asks to live by faith in the Son of God, not setting aside the grace of God. Not trying to attain what we have already. But resting in God who has provided and given us everything we need, everything we could ever desire, in Himself.