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Archive for the category “The Vine And The Branches”

Pruned for Greater FruitFulness (a daily devotional)

He who abides in Me…bears much fruit.” John 15:5 NKJV

Some folks view the Christian life as a bed of roses, others see it as a battlefield.

  • The first group says, “If I’ve enough faith I’ll never be sick, broke, or have problems.
  • The second group says, “I have more troubles than Job.”

The truth is, your faith level is revealed by hard times.

  • When your back is to the wall financially, you need faith to believe that God is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides.
  • When you’re battling illness, you need faith to believe He’s Jehovah Rapha, the great physician who promises to heal.

Jesus said, “He who abides in Me…bears much fruit.”  Notice, the blessing comes from “abiding” and staying close to the Lord.  Getting excited about fruit before you’ve learned to sow seed means you end up serving God for what He does, instead of who He is to you.

Here’s another thought: Don’t use your faith to belittle others.  Just because you have graduated, don’t burn down the school!

Remember the tests you didn’t do so well in? But God brought you through, didn’t He? And He will bring them through too!

Yes, the Christian life is a battlefield.  The level of attack is determined by the size of your God-given assignment and the rewards that await you beyond it. So in that sense, Satan’s attack is a compliment.

The truth lies in the middle. You will be regularly pruned for greater fruitfulness. But that’s when it’s even more important to abide.

So don’t give up, and don’t collapse, for beyond this test you’ll have a testimony to God’s goodness.

– from a daily devotional

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PRUNING: A Must For Christian Maturity

As born again Christians, Jesus instructs us to preach the gospel.  Unfortunately, Jesus is often left out of the preaching – especially for new converts to Christ.  In other words, Christian character growth is limited in the new converts.  Yet, they are often instructed to preach the gospel as if they are seasoned, trial-tested Christians.  Have you ever seen this?  Have you ever experienced this?  Unfortunately, I have seen too much of it.  It is like the butterfly with the damaged wing.

It is important to witness and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  However, never is this to be at the expense of developing one’s character and maturity of Christ – especially for a new convert.  If we did not have a broken heart and an abyss of garbage, then we would have never turned to Jesus.  Therefore, it is very obvious that God has a lot of garbage to clean up in each of us.  So it is HIS responsibility to season us for His work.

  • Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
  • Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Jesus began it.  He will complete it.
  • Philippians 2:12-13 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

This is where many Christians err and fail.  They do not, either ignorantly or purposely, permit the Holy Spirit to clean the heart so only the fragrance and love of Jesus resides.  Instead, with heavy, burdened hearts, they sincerely go out to preach and witness the gospel when they are clearly not ready (mature) to in some areas.  They do not know their limitations.

The following example illustrates the importance of understanding the “pruning” process.  A new vine needs at least three years of pruning before fruit is to be produced through it.  The vinedresser prunes the vine each year because he knows when the vine will be ready to bear fruit.  (This sure is similar to what God the Father does to us.)  The vine will grow the way the vinedresser prunes it.  If he does not prune it the proper way, the vine will grow uncontrollably and become weak.  It will not be strong enough to bear any fruit from its branches.  The fruit may look delicious and edible, but once a bite is taken, the fruit’s immaturity will be tasted.  Then, it usually is spit out.  Who would want to taste fruit that tastes like poison?  It is like eating a hard, immature apple.  The apple is not ripe and mature.  So why bother to even try it?  It is 100% apple, but immature and not ready to eat.

The same is obvious for the born again Christian.  She is immature in some areas (ex – preaching and witnessing) and needs to mature in these areas before undertaking them.  Otherwise, disaster waits as Satan pounces on the immaturity.  Luke 13:6-9 shows an excellent example of three years of pruning the proper way. “He (Jesus) spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.  Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and found none; cut it down; why cumbereth in the ground?  And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it; and if it bear fruit, well: then after that thou shall cut it down.”

This is why it is critical for you to understand the benefits of “pruning.”  God wants to expose you to the truth of His fruit maturing in you so that the mature, ripe fruit is all you would desire to bear – His fruit, His life, His time.  The immature fruit is shown through the immature Christian who does not let Jesus be seen through him on a consistent basis.  Jesus may be initially seen.  However, after a short period, Jesus will be hidden and rarely seen.  This is because the Christian has reached a period of his walk that he is not ready (not mature) for.  So, instead of stepping back and hiding in Jesus (Colossians 3:3), he goes forward in immaturity and bears disaster for the name of Jesus.  This is usually seen as the fruit of the flesh, not the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-24).  He has refused “pruning” from the Father.

So embrace suffering as “pruning” and “discipline.”  Truth is painful.  But, truth will set you free.  The Father knows what tomorrow will bring because He is already there.

I know this is easier said than done.  It always is.  Right now a very deep struggle is occurring within me.  Over the last ten years as a Christian, Jesus has freed me from much bondage and has grown His love deeply into me.  Yet, at times such as now, fear can easily overtake me as I continue to focus more on my circumstances.  I appreciate your patience that I can be honest with you right now.  I must be.  I do not want to provide you “lip service,” but the reality of life.  The “pruning” I have been sharing is just as important to understand for me as it is for you.  I realize I need deeper growth than I ever realized.  Then, His perfect love will daily cast out my fear.  I John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” God the Father is “pruning” me further.  All He asks is my trust and love so He can do it.  Apart from Jesus, I certainly can do nothing.

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This is an excerpt from my book Growth In A New Life In Christ.  You can view it, and other books I have written, at my website http://www.LifeUnderGrace.com.

Bearing Fruit


I chose you…to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last.” Jn 15:16 NIV

Before leaving this world Jesus took His disciples aside to prepare them for the problems they would face after He was gone: “I am the vine; you are the branches…apart from me you can do nothing…I chose you…to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last” (vv. 5,16 NIV).

Here Jesus teaches us two important things:

(1) You only discover who you are, in relationship to Christ. “Apart from me you can do nothing.”  When you forget that, you end up trying to do things only God can do, like solving your problems your own way, or promoting yourself through clever strategies.

You’re not blessed in any endeavor because of your performance; you’re blessed because of your connection to Christ. Unless you understand that, you’ll waste your time chasing people who have no more power than you do.

Your strength and success are in Christ, the Vine, so stay connected!

(2) Before you get the fruit that remains, you lose the fruit that’s temporary. “He cuts off every branch that…bears no fruit” (v. 2 NIV).

You can be a good branch, connected to a good vine, bearing good fruit, and suddenly God starts cutting back certain things in your life. Things you thought would always be there are taken away; now it feels like you’re going backwards.

It takes faith to believe that God would permit you to lose what you’re proud of, and what you draw your security from in order to give you something better-fruit that lasts, enduring success.

So, difficult though it may be, let it go. God has something better in mind for you.

– from a daily devotional

Are You Bearing Fruit?

Jesus said: “Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (Jn 15:2 NKJV).

Without periodic pruning a vine will only produce a fraction of its potential harvest.

Vineyards have only one purpose: to produce grapes.

Energy spent on anything else is wasted.

The pruner has four (4) things in mind:

  1. removing what’s dead or dying,
  2. making sure sunlight gets to the fruit-bearing branches,
  3. increasing the size and quality of the grapes,
  4. encouraging new grapes to develop.

To make room for the kind of abundance Christ redeemed you for, He will cut away the parts of your life that are draining precious time and energy from what’s truly important to Him.

To accomplish this, He will even risk you misunderstanding His methods. His purpose for your life requires the cutting away of bad habits and attitudes, wrong relationships, lesser priorities, and anything that distracts you from your highest calling.

Are you praying for God’s blessing in your life? Are you asking Him to make you more fruitful in His service?  Then get ready for the shears! Pruning is how God answers such prayers. Sometimes we blame the devil or other people for the loss of certain things in our lives.  No, “He prunes.”
Today if God is pruning you:

  1. Pay attention, don’t waste this season of preparation.
  2. Ask God whether you’re being pruned for greater fruitfulness or disciplined because of sin – there’s a difference. If it’s sin, repent and get back on track as quickly as possible.
  3. If your response to the pruning process is right, you’ll begin to move from barrenness to blessing.

– from a daily meditation

SEEING JESUS AS YOUR VINE (Part 2 of blog series Growth In The Vine)

Seeing Jesus As Your Vine

John 15:1-17 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit, He purgeth it, that, it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you, As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth for much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.  If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth into the fire, and they are burned.  If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.  As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue in My love.  If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.  These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.  Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you.  These things I command you, that ye love one another.” These Scripture verses should be read every day slowly, so the Holy Spirit can penetrate the deeper meanings of love that Jesus wants your heart to see.  Outstanding!

Many in the USA have rarely ever seen a vine up close.  Just by looking at it, it is difficult to even determine what is the vine and what are the branches.  But, fortunately, the gardener knows.  And for the Christian, thank God we have a great, loving and caring gardener Who always knows how to care for His vine.

A vine must be treated very tenderly for its fruit to reach maturity.  All life comes from the vine itself; a branch has no life in itself.  A branch must be totally dependent, for its life, on the life that flows from the vine.  Growing on its own, a branch will grow wildly and uncontrollably – and eventually die.  Therefore, the gardener must apply “pruning” to bring the branches back under his care and direction.  Such an excellent analogy this is to our own Christian walk.  The love and grace of Jesus causes the Father to prune and discipline us when we begin wandering (uncontrollably and wildly) into areas of sin.  The pruning causes us to return under the Father’s care and direction.  That is why Jesus repeatedly said to “abide in Him” and to “abide in His love.”

This is one aspect of the life of the vine we will look at – the concept of “pruning.”  By examining “pruning,” we will see quite extensively how prolonged the pruning process is and how uncharacteristic pruning the vine is when the fruit looks ripe for eating.  Also, we will look at “abiding.”  This will reveal helpful insight as to the meaning of “abiding in Christ” and “abiding in His love.”

From the parable of The Vine And The Branches, Jesus is clearly communicating the need that we (as branches) must be totally dependent on Him, His life in us (as the vine).  There are no exceptions.  When Jesus stated that “Without Him we can do nothing,” that means nothing.  And you can’t get lower than “nothing.”  Jesus is definitely the Vine of Life – God Himself.

Growth In The Vine – Part 1 (new blog series)

Today we begin a new blog series to help you “grow” in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Since Jesus is our Victory Over Everything (including depression), it is necessary to nurture this relationship to keep Jesus as your Victory every day.

The specific parable we will look at is The Vine And The Branches from the gospel of John, chapter 15. You will be blessed immeasurable. Look for a new series part/blog every few days.
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Growth In The Vine – Part 1

I am sure you have frequently read or heard teachings about the parable of The Vine And The Branches that Jesus spoke about in the gospel of John, Chapter 15.  I do not want to bore you with “another story” about the vine and the branches.  For I am far from being an expert about vineyards.  I only pray you bear me your patience as a share what I believe the Holy Spirit is putting on my heart to share for your edification.

I vividly recall a story that clearly parallels the parable of The Vine And The Branches.  One day a man witnessed a butterfly trying to emerge from a cocoon.  A considerable length of time passed as the man watched the butterfly’s unsuccessful attempts to come out.  The man became impatient waiting and decided to assist the butterfly.  He blew on the cocoon for a few minutes.  Soon there was a bigger hole in the cocoon for the butterfly to emerge from.  The butterfly did emerge, but with a damaged wing.  And a butterfly with a damaged wing is as good as dead.  The man was sincere in his intentions, but he obviously was sincerely wrong.  The butterfly was not ready to come out.  The butterfly needed more development in the solitude within the cocoon.  Then, at the right time, she would emerge from the cocoon on her own.

We, Christians, are like both the man and the butterfly.  When we come out “too early” in areas of our Christian walk, we quickly have a damaged wing.  Or we may help another Christian, who is not yet ready to be helped, and give her a damaged wing.  And a Christian cannot do anything with a self-inflicted, damaged wing.  We can be very sincere in our actions, but sincerely wrong.

There is absolutely nothing more important in a Christian’s walk than developing her intimate, quiet, inner prayer life with Jesus. Jesus must be your #1 passion to pursue in life. This is what the butterfly needed to do further in the cocoon – develop maturity for this stage of her life until she is ready (mature) to fly.  This is what the Christian is to do in her cocoon with Christ.  Jesus is to grow quietly within the Christian in her inner life that the fruit of the Holy Spirit will grow through her.  For only the love of Jesus will be the prime motivation of her life.  Otherwise, she rushes out of her cocoon with a damaged wing and may just give another Christian a damaged wing also.

The story from the Bible that shows the contrast between the inner life in Christ and Christian ministry work without (or ahead of) Christ is the story of Martha and Mary found in the gospel of Luke.  Luke 10:38-42. “Now it came to pass, as they went, that He (Jesus) entered into a certain village and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His word.  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him (Jesus), and said, Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?  Bid her therefore that she help me.  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing in needful and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” This story obviously is very important to reflect on often.  For it only appears once in the gospels.  Five simple verses have such significant, spiritual impact.

Mary exemplifies the quiet, hidden life with Jesus.  She was falling intimately more in love with Jesus everyday.  This is the prime motive and action in the inner life – falling deeper in love with Jesus everyday. Mary sat quietly at the feet of Jesus and listened to every word that came from His lips.  How often do you sit quietly in the presence of Jesus listening to every word He speaks – especially from His Word?  If not or rarely at all, then you are a Martha with a damaged wing.

Christian service and ministry is very important, but, never at the expense of developing an intimate, inner relationship of love with Jesus.  This is what Martha obviously missed.  The result is she is becoming anxious and upset, not just with her sister Mary, but with Jesus Himself.  This immediately tells me something is wrong.  If I ever become upset or angry with Jesus, I have definitely missed Him somewhere.  And I need to be honest and come back to intimacy with Him.

The Christian life is ONLY growing in love with Jesus.  This must be the Christian’s primary motive.  If Jesus saved you because He loves you, then it is only obvious that a love relationship between two people must grow.  The only growth for the love of Jesus must be done in you.  Christ lives in you and must now grow through you.  The growth must be done through your flesh – for you still possess a sin nature that is always against the Holy Spirit and God’s love.  (We have already looked at the sin nature of “flesh” in our study in Esther.)  Your growth in the love of Jesus is both painful and joyful.  However, they both are necessary.  This is where our lesson of the “Life Of The Vine” comes in.  As long as the heart is alive in Christ, God the Father, our Vinedresser, will be pruning and disciplining us.  He does this only for our good and growth in love for Him.  This is what we will now look at – “Growth In The Vine” – A GROWTH IN THE LOVE OF JESUS.

Know Your Evil Flesh Well Or Struggle In Your Christian Walk – (Growth In Esther Series Part 14)

The Holy Spirit will always remind us of what occurred 2000 years ago on a hill called Calvary.  He reminds us how the Lamb of God became man and was slain on the cross for every sin ever committed – past, present, and future.  God was reconciling Himself to us. 

II Corinthians 5:18 “And all things are of God; who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” 

How could one not say “Thank You” to Jesus for such a great salvation?

The Holy Spirit directs our heart, especially, as we read the Word of God.  He will consistently reveal Jesus to us.  He will specifically reveal to us the salvation plans of God for each individual.  The Holy Spirit sure is a special person for us. 

Yet, as we saw in our study of Esther, the struggle within of our flesh (Haman) and the Holy Spirit (Mordecai) is an ongoing daily one.

How often have you felt this struggle?  Within your members, there is something that wants to honor Christ and, at the same time, there is something that wants to hang Him.  This basically is the struggle we undergo; it cannot be avoided.

No matter how successful or popular our flesh is in the eyes of the world, it will always attempt to destroy the Holy Spirit and God’s children – to hang them on the gallows.  Remember this is what Haman always attempted to do.  He was the Jews’ enemy and it did not matter how successful or popular he was as long as Mordecai was alive.

Yet, as we undergo this battle, it is remarkable how we tenaciously still put confidence in the flesh and resist the Holy Spirit.  This is how strong our flesh is.  How challenging it is for the Holy Spirit to “woo” us from the flesh to Himself.  We can hear countless teachings/sermons and read often how evil our flesh is and “That no flesh should glory in His presence.”  (I Corinthians 1:29)  However, because the flesh has controlled us for so long, we easily yield control of our lives to it.  We will not permit the Holy Spirit to root its evilness out of the depths of our heart.  Therefore, we behave like King Saul (1 Samuel 15:15) and keep the best of the flesh to offer to God in worship and in praise.  We offer to God our works in the flesh – despite God already condemning them.

The flesh will do anything to manipulate the situation to its own benefit.  Somehow the flesh will always try to make a situation beneficial for it.  It will do anything to dethrone Christ from His rightful possession (us). 

Even when the flesh realizes Christ is gaining more access into the believer’s heart and life, the flesh will then attempt to keep this from repeating further.  For the flesh knows that it is powerless against the Holy Spirit.  So it will attempt to confuse the believer’s mind with other things that will keep him busy for Jesus or lure him away from finding the riches of Jesus in him.  II Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your mind should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 

The flesh will actively attempt to make the Christian practice righteousness – to be a Christian in the power of the flesh. 

The flesh will always go along to keep its true, evil identity hidden.  How often I see Christians volunteering for ministry, when it was really the flesh directing them to volunteer.  I know because I volunteered in the works of the flesh many times.  The flesh knows it cannot cease the Christian from joining Christian ministries, so it ensures its evil nature and agenda remain hidden. 

For its own survival, the flesh gets the Christian to “imitate” Christianity, to imitate Jesus.  The flesh will never miss any opportunity to make the Christian imitate Christ – anything from church attendance, missions, Bible study, prayer, revival, second coming, spiritual gifts, evangelism, deliverance, tithing, Scripture memorization, denominations, financial prosperity, spiritual warfare, rapture, keeping the Sabbath, etc.  You name it and the flesh will be there. 

The flesh can only produce a cheap imitation of the real thing.  And Jesus definitely is NO imitation.  But the Christian imitates Christianity – very zealously and sincerely.  Yet, he is not realizing that Satan has blinded him to the truth of seeing only Jesus.  As the Holy Spirit continues to draw him closer to Jesus, the flesh will divert his attention away from Christ and get it focused on things he can do for Christ.  The flesh will keep him busy and the Holy Spirit unemployed in many areas of his life.  This is so true for many Christians.  We focus more on the gifts than the Giver, on blessings instead of the Blesser.

This is idolatry.  Do you ever see or have you ever experienced a time when Christian work you were involved in became an object of idolatry?  How about today?  Are you, today, involved in Christian work that is an object of idolatry?  Are you more focused on ministry than the love of Jesus?  How often do you boast of your Christian ministry?  Only the Holy Spirit can reveal this to you.  Therefore, without Jesus we cannot do anything (in God’s eyes).  And if Jesus is not the prime motivation of everything we do as a Christian, then we are accomplishing nothing.  We become abysmal failures.  And God expects nothing less.

Our solution is only Truth – Jesus Himself – the only Way, the only Truth, the only Life (John 14:6).  The only language Satan speaks is lies.  There is no truth in him (John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”  Since the flesh originates from Satan, it only speaks lies. 

One thing is always certain – the Truth of God never changes.  Truth is the very nature of God Himself.  Truth is a fact that must be expressed.

Since Jesus (Truth) never changes, the truth of His message and plan of salvation never changes.  So also does the nature of Satan and the flesh never change.  They may try to convince us that it does, but when you realize that all they speak are lies, that should settle the matter.  Lying is their native language.  They may oppose, confuse, distort, manipulate, sulk, persecute, slander, gossip, covet, etc. anything from the primary truth.  They want you to believe it to be a simple truth – to compromise with sin.  But even a little lie distorts the truth.  A lie is a lie.  Truth is truth.  And the convincing truth is Satan and the flesh are natural liars.  In fact, “lying” has never been part of God’s vocabulary.

SILENCE – A Key To Victory & Growth

To permit the Lord Jesus Christ to live the Christian life through you is summed up in one word.  To experience daily His love and the reality of His presence is summed up in one word.

That one word is SILENCE.  You must be silent in the inner man, on your inside.  Do you know how to keep and maintain your inside zipped?  Your #1 desire and priority must be ‘to be alone and silent in the presence of God’.  You must strive to develop this.  Be mentally tough and ferociously persistent.  Jesus lives inside you and is the source guiding and motivating you toward intimacy with Him.

This is as simple as it is – being alone, intimate, and silent in the presence of God.  He then can reveal the depths of His love to you.  Remember, be gentle and patient.  It will become a way of life, not a formula.  You grow gradually, just like anything else is life.  Just cooperate with the life of Christ in you, that vine producing the fruit.

You do not run off and join a monastery.  This silence becomes incorporated into your daily life, into your daily activities.  God is only training you to “Be still and know He is God.” He quiets your inner man so He can speak and be heard.  Yes, He will speak and speak very actively.  Like a seed, it will grow and flourish in His love.  It grows slowly and patiently because He causes the growth.  God slowly peels off all flesh layers and thorns.  Just rest in His love and be.  Yes, just be, be, and be.

It is an ongoing process.  You must absolutely put yourself into the Word of God with the mindset that I have just shared.  Be mentally tough.  Expect deep revelations of God’s love.  God love becomes more real in your daily life.  Only He can complete His work in you.  Only make yourself restfully available for Him to thoroughly establish His life in you and thoroughly live His life through you.

In fact, you now hear Him gently touching your heart.  Withdraw now into the intimacy of the depths of your heart.  Go in secret, shutting the world out in your mind.  Only Love awaits you.

Growth In Jesus is Very Painful, but Necessary

Old “baggage” is DEAD in God’s eyes. If you consistently look at “dead baggage,” God cannot help you.  God deals with life – His Son Jesus.  When the Father sees you, He sees His Son Jesus in you.

This video is outstanding to see the necessity of the pruning God does in our lives.  It hurts, but is well with it.

REMEMBER AMALEK (continued) – blog series of Growth In Esther

REMEMBER AMALEK!

Being a descendant of Esau, this is the evil Haman was born into – a bitter, intense evil and hatred against God and God’s people.  And no matter how successful in life Haman was, he will always seek to destroy Mordecai and God’s people.  No matter how successful or powerful or popular our flesh becomes, it will ALWAYS seek to destroy God and His children. What an obvious example Haman is of our flesh, originating right from Satan himself!  No wonder Paul states from Romans 7 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.”

Here are the Scriptural references that trace Haman’s evil, ancestral roots are traced as far back as Esau, Amalek, and King Agag.

  • Genesis 25:19-34 “And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac: and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian.  And Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.  And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus?  And she went to inquire of the Lord.  And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from the bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.  And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.  And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.  And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.  And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.  And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.  And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: and Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.  And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.  And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his brithright.”
  • Genesis 36:12 “And Tinna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son: and she born to Eliphaz Amalek…” Amalek is Esau’s grandson.
  • Exodus 17:8-16 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidum.  And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.  So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill.  And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.  But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands,…  And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.  And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this in a memorial for a book and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.  And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nisi: For He said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

“God is at war with Amalek from generation to generation.”  You are not at war with Amalek.  I am not at war with Amalek.  God is. Read it again and again until it sinks in.  That is why God says, Write this in a memorial for a book and REHEARSE it….” This is how we are to remember Amalek (the flesh).

The Holy Spirit wars against our flesh; we are not to.  We are only to rest in the finished work of Jesus on the cross.  From generation to generation means that it is a never-ending battle between the flesh and the Spirit.  Fortunately for us, Jesus defeated Satan and the flesh on the cross.  We need to also remember that the battles in the flesh will go on every day until either we die or the Lord comes back.  God initiates the battle with Amalek.  Rest assured: God will complete the battle for you.  It is His battle on your behalf.  Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

The victory over Amalek has already been provided for us at Calvary.  Jesus crushed Satan and the flesh once and for allONLY one sacrifice for sin for all time.  The victory is ours all because of Jesus.  Now, the daily battles against our flesh are also His.  So let the Holy Spirit fight your flesh (Amalek) – from generation to generation.  Yes, a daily battle it is.  Lay Amalek on the cross where he belongs.  Then let the Holy Spirit in you crucify Amalek daily.  So remember often as God says, “This is a memorial…”

…to be continued…

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