Post details: Ever notice ... ?


Permalink 11:19:17 am, Categories: By Trent, GraceHead thinking deeply, 24 words   English (US)

Ever notice ... ?

Once a branch has been abiding in the vine for many years and is pruned often... one can hardly distinguish it from the vine?

vine and branches

Trackback address for this post:

Comments, Trackbacks, Pingbacks:

Comment from: Pam [Visitor]
Hi Trent,

Simple and sweet.:0)

That branch is changed simply by the life that flows to it from the vine. That branch does not strive and labor to become and did not even seek to become a part of the vine. This branch was sought out by the vinedresser and it was all his work that grafted this branch into the vine that it might receive life. :0)

You're on a roll, little brother!

Permalink 03/03/08 @ 13:29
Comment from: Timothy [Member] ·
Excellent, Trent... amen.


The Lord has said to me that resting in the finished work is the foundation from which striving and sincere and earnest effort to serve the Lord comes.
Therefore, we rest in the "finished work" and then strive with our body, our heart, our mind and our strength to seek and serve the Lord... hence 'to love God with all the heart, and all the mind, and all the strength'. Anything less would be as the the wicked and slothful servant who buried what his Lord had given him.(Matthew 25:26-27)

And what of these 'striving' verses:

Ho 6:3 -
Let us know, let us strive to know ADONAI. That he will come is as certain as morning; he will come to us like the rain, like the spring rains that water the earth.

2Co 7:1 -
Therefore, my dear friends, since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that can defile either body or spirit, and strive to be completely holy, out of reverence for God.

1Ti 4:10 -
(indeed, it is for this that we toil and strive): we have our hope set on a living God who is the deliverer of all humanity, especially of those who trust.

Lu 13:24 -
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Ro 15:30 -
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;

2Ti 2:5 -
And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

...And shall we come lazily and be only hearers or:

Heb 4:16 -
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Ro 2:13 -
(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Jas 1:22 -
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Permalink 03/03/08 @ 15:44
Comment from: Timothy [Member] ·
Trent, this first reminds of this verse:

John 15:5 -
"I am the Vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without Me.

But also of another parable...

Parable of the Two Trees
From Letters From God and His Christ(

11/04 - From God the Father

As for the tree of the world, where every foul and evil bird lives, God will bring upon that tree a fierce wind and topple it to the ground, pull it up by its roots, destroy it with hail, and burn its branches with fire, until nothing remains. Then will He plant a new seed that will grow forever and never die. Then much fruit will it bear, and all will gather around and live beneath its branches, and also be its branches, says the Lord.
Permalink 03/03/08 @ 15:56
Comment from: Pam [Visitor]
Hi Timothy,

Maybe a comparison of other translations can give us a each a more Godly understanding.

NIV Hosea 6:3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowlege him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.

In this instance, what the NKV translates as striving(which I would define as exerting great effort to obtain)is translated here as acknowleging God. The context of the passage is that of returning to the Lord which always means a turning away from our own way of doing things. Yet, it is not even our work of turning away that produces anything in us but the receiving of what God desires to give us, Life(Jesus) that produces any godliness in us.

NIV 2 Corinthians 7:1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

When I sin, there is nothing that I can do on my own power to make myself clean again. I first had to come to Jesus by acknowleging Him as the Son of God and receive by faith the blood He poured out to cover my sin. It is His blood only that makes me clean in the eyes of God. Now as a born again child of God, that which cleanses me when I stumble and fall short is the daily washing of the Word. It is God's Word that brings my focus back to Jesus and keeps me pure beneath the blood of Jesus in the sight of God. If it were up to me and my ability to keep the Law in my flesh then this would mean a continual nailing of Jesus to the cross. That is why in Grace there is a better Way than in the Law and exerting great effort to keep it. He who would keep the Law must live by it and when we fail in one point we have failed in every point. Likewise, if I have failed in one point there is no use in my keeping it on another because by the Law, I have already been condemned to death. Rather, by the Grace of God, my sin is covered with Jesus' blood and my communion with my Father restored and by my flesh being continually put to death by the Law, my spirit which has been quickened by His Spirit cannot be put to death and becomes stronger every day as I grow in Christ; and the Law has no hold over me. This does not mean that the Law is evil. It is my flesh that is inherantly evil and full of death but in my spirit I am being purified by the Life that now flows through me and that Life is Jesus. He is my righteousness and as long as my focus is upon Him, His works which are the very Works of the Father, are taking place in me and through me. When this takes place, I am fully at rest in Jesus and this is the same as the Sabbath rest for I have ceased from my own works, from working my own will upon the earth and instead the Will of God is being worked upon the earth through me. God, Who sits outside of time, has already entered His seventh day rest as all from the beginning of history to its end was created and completed upon the sixth day; and we who are in Jesus enter that rest when in baptism our carnal flesh is nailed to the cross with Jesus and we are raised to walk in newness of Life; no longer seeking to control the unknown future but instead trusting in the completion of His perfect will as in the flesh we remain yet, subject to time but in the spirit we have become eternal as God Who is Spirit is eternal. It is no longer we who live but Christ Who lives in us.

The Law does nothing to make us holy, Timothy but in Chirst obedience to God comes as a natural outflowing when we rest in Him. God truly is not interested in any work that we would do FOR Him but He is very interested in the Work that He longs to do in us and through us.

NIV Luke 13:24 "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you,many will try to enter and will not be able to.

It seems to me that the word, striving would be appropriate here but it can't be applied to Law keeping but instead to receiving Christ. Only those who enter through faith in Jesus will suceed for many will by their great effort try to enter but will find themselves locked out and all their effort in vain.

Romans 15:30 NIV I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.

Here the word striving is replaced with struggle which also seems to fit the context well. All of us struggle with our flesh but not to make it keep the Law but to bring it into submission to the Spirit. We all have this struggle and ought to always lift one another in prayer that we each find victory over our own sinful flesh.

In the last verse you quoted, I am going to take the liberty of quoting the verses around it to give it context. NIV 2 Timothy 2:1-9 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presense of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs--he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's Word is not chained.

The athlete that Paul uses as a comparison to those of us in Christ was not competing according to the Covenant of the Law but according to the Gospel. The rules we must abide by are ceasing from our own works that God's work be done in us and through us. We don't decide, God decides and even if we decide according to the Law, we can't win the race apart from God's Grace and the Salvation that He offers as an outpouring of His Gracious Nature toward us. Part of God's Love was demonstrated by His giving of the Law that would prepare the Way for Salvation through faith in Jesus but that Law Covenant is not still in effect for a New Covenant and a better Way is now open to us in Jesus. By Grace we receive the daily conversation with our Dad that corrects our old carnal nature that was contrary to the Law with a nature over which the Law has no hold for from out of that new nature the Spirit of the Law naturally flows.

I leave you with three more verses from that same chapter: NIV 2 Timothy 2:11-13 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

It was very hard for me to die to self wanting its own holiness. I was the queen of the rule keepers!(I still struggle) I tried very hard to live on a diet of Law cooked up with Grace and worked tirelessly to feed it to others. I brought punishment on myself that nearly killed me to endure, it brought me to the brink of physical death and there is yet much sadness and suffering that are a consequence of that false diet, the work of my sinful flesh. I started out with Grace but when I matured a little, I thought I had it figured out and that God had given me a special mission; and I turned back to Law, trying to please God through my own fleshly efforts. Now I know that Jesus is enough and the Law will never pass away for it is holy being of God but in Christ the Law can no longer put me to death and has no hold over me. Therefore, I live according to Grace and under the New Covenant which is eternal life in Christ Jesus and that is more than enough for me.

I love you in the Lord, Timothy and if you are in Him, (and my limited discernment tells me you are)we are unified in Him and no matter how much we disagree and misunderstand as we each grow in Him, we can't become un-unified any more than you are able to divorce your parents or siblings for we are bound by the blood of Jesus. We are family and we have to put up with one another and even love one another. That is what church is all about. Not about perfect theology or practice but learning to love those whom we don't even like or have anything in common with simply because we both belong to Jesus.

I love you as a brother in the Lord but I will never make more of you than you are. I did that with another once before and I cannot ever do it again. Jesus is the head and we are all equally dependent upon Him for if the head is removed from the body, the body will die and no member is of more importance than another and all the glory is for Him.

Permalink 03/03/08 @ 16:54
Comment from: Pam [Visitor]

I just read the last paragraph of what I wrote and I want to clarify. I dont' want to make more of you than you are not because of what it would do to me but because of what it has the potential to do to you. I've seen it happen too many times. None of us can really endure life on a pedastal and I've seen it ruin good Christian men and their families too. False prophets are not born, they are made and one of the things that makes them is receiving adoration and admiration that belongs only to God.

Permalink 03/06/08 @ 02:52

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be displayed on this site.
Your URL will be displayed.
Allowed XHTML tags: <p, ul, ol, li, dl, dt, dd, address, blockquote, ins, del, span, bdo, br, em, strong, dfn, code, samp, kdb, var, cite, abbr, acronym, q, sub, sup, tt, i, b, big, small>
(Line breaks become <br />)
(Set cookies for name, email & url)

I serve , the Lord.

Please enter the name of the Lord (the Risen One) into the entry area BEFORE clicking on the Send comment button.

Hint: the version of the name is the English version, not the Hebrew way to say His name. All letters are uppercase. Rhymes with "freeze us."

Blog All

Automatically aggregates all posts from all other blogs. This allows you to easily track everything that is posted on this system. You can hide this blog from the public by unchecking 'Include in public blog list' in the blogs admin.

July 2013
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
<<  <   >  >>
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        


this site  web    



Syndicate this blog XML

What is RSS?

powered by