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Monthly Archives: February 2013

An Almost Christian – James Smith

almost-christianThen Agrippa said to Paul: You almost persuade me to become a Christian!” Acts 26:28

There are many who conclude that they are Christians, because they have been enlightened to see something of their state, danger, and deserved doom. But many are only lighted to Hell, for light in the mind–is not life in the soul. Hebrews 6:4, 10:20.

A person may be awakened to feel, to tremble, to desire salvation–as did Felix and Balaam, Acts 24:25, Numbers 23:10.

He may be reformed, and turn from open profanity to strict morality–as did some in Peter’s day, 2 Peter 2:20.

He may be assisted to do many things which are in themselves good, such as reading the Scripture, attending divine ordinances, engaging in prayer, and working miracles, Matthew 7:21-23, Mark 6:20, 1 Corinthians 13:3.

He may experience God’s power put forth restraining him, and keeping him back from sin, as did Abimelech, Genesis 20:6.

He may humble himself before God, as did Ahab, 1 Kings 21:27-30.

He may possess joy and be exceeding glad under the Word, Matthew 13:20.

He may believe the Word, receive the testimony, and admire the preacher, Luke 4:22-29, 8:13, Ezekiel 33:31-32.

He may be filled with zeal for Christ and his cause, like the multitude, John 6:15, 16; Matthew 21:8-11; Luke 23:18-23.

He may be baptized upon a profession of faith, join a Christian church, and imitate the saints in his conduct–as did Simon Magus, Acts 8:13.

He may fill an office in the church, preach the gospel, and act consistent for a time–as did Judas; and yet Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place, Acts 1:25.

He may be highly esteemed by others, be sound in doctrine, and suffer for the cause of Christ, and yet be destitute of the vital principle of saving faith–like Demas, Alexander, Hymeneus, and Philetus, 2 Timothy 2:16-18, 4:10-14, 1 John 2:15.

He may have many excellent qualities, so that he may be admired and loved by others, like the rich young ruler in Matthew 19.

He may have all that has been named above–but ONE THING may be lacking, and he be found at last, merely an almost Christian.

This says it all!

Ron Kenoly – The Battle is the Lord’s

Our Lives Should Be New Testament Pages That All Can Read! – J.R. Miller

207308_609253515758477_1201478616_nSet an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” Titus 2:7

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands, so that if any of them do not believe the Word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” 1 Peter 3:1-2

Unbelievers do not read the Bible, nor come to church to hear the gospel message. All that they learn about Christ and the Christian life–they must learn from those who bear Christ’s name and represent Him–as they view our character.

If all church members lived truly consecrated lives–holy, humble, separate from the world, loyal to Christ in business, in pleasure, and in all things–it would be impossible to estimate what the influence of the Church would be, by godly example alone. It is awful to think that professing Christians, by the inconsistencies of their personal lives, lead souls away from the Savior. We are all responsible for our example to others. Our lives should be New Testament pages that all can read!

For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” John 13:15

Leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21

Every Word is Practical – J.R. Miller

lamp-unto-my-feetI have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your Word.” Psalm 119:101

We must not merely read the Bible–but strive that we may obey it. If the Bible is not the guide of our life–it is nothing to us. Its truths are to be applied. If we read the Beatitudes, we are to compare ourselves with their Divine requirements–and seek to be conformed to them. If we come upon a Scripture which rebukes any sinful habit or attitude of ours–we are immediately to make the needed amendment. We are to accept its promises, believe them, and act upon them. We are to allow its comforts to enter our hearts, and support us in sorrow.

There is nothing written in the Bible, merely for ornament or beauty. Every word is practical. There is no truth in it which has not some bearing upon actual living. When we come to it eager to know how to live, and ready to obey its precepts–we shall find it opening its inmost meaning to us.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15

I Have Been Redeemed – Big Daddy Weave

This Lesson Makes Life Easy and Simple – J.R. Miller

il_fullxfull.194800496As your days–so shall your strength be!” Deuteronomy 33:25

We have nothing to do with life in the aggregate–that great bulk of duties, responsibilities, struggles, and trials which belong to a course of years. We really have nothing to do even with the nearest of the days before us–tomorrow. Our sole business is with the one little day which is now passing. Its burdens will not crush us–we can easily carry them until the sun goes down. We can always get along for one short day–it is the projection of life into the long future, which dismays and appalls us.

Each day is, in a certain sense, a complete life by itself. It has
its own duties,
its own trials,
its own burdens,
and its own needs.
The very best we can do for the perfecting of our life as a whole, is to live the one day well.

We should put all our thought and energy and skill into the duty of each day, wasting no strength, either in grieving over yesterday’s failures–or in anxiety about tomorrow’s responsibilities.

This lesson makes life easy and simple!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

The Christian’s Safety – James Smith

My God is My SalvationKeep me safe, O God, for in You I take refuge!” Psalm 16:1

The lost sinner is in danger–in the greatest possible danger! He is always in danger, for . . .
the wrath of God abides on him,
the curse of God is leveled at him, and
the justice of God makes a fearful demand upon him.
He is like an unprotected traveler in a forest, where robbers and wild beasts unite to terrify and destroy. He is . . .
exposed to every storm,
liable to every calamity, and
may be cut down at any moment!
The law condemns him,
Satan seeks by all means to destroy him,
and his situation is truly dreadful!

But the believer is safe in Jesus:
his sins are pardoned,
his person is justified,
he is accepted in Jesus, and
to him there is no condemnation.
To him, Jesus is a strong tower, into which he runs and is safe.
To him, God is a shield, which defends him from every hostile weapon. God . . .
surrounds him as a wall of fire,
bears him up on everlasting arms, and
guides him by His strength to His holy habitation.

“For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock!” Psalm 27:5

Every perfection of God is on his side,
every purpose of God secures his salvation,
every promise of God is made for his comfort and safety.
He is in the hands of Christ,
his name is engraved on the breast-plate of the Great High Priest,
and his cause lies near to the heart of the Omnipotent One.
Nothing that concerns him is left to chance,
his times are in the Lord’s hands, and
God works all things together for his good.
He will have everything that is . . .
really good,
truly great, and
eternally glorious!
God is his Father–and he will defend His child.
Jesus is his Bridegroom–and he will protect His Bride.

If the power of God can preserve him–then he is safe; for he is kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

If the love of God can secure him–then he is safe; for God loves him with an everlasting love!

Will a kind, fond, and tender mother take care of her child? Then will God take care of the believer, for He asks, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb?” He admits, “Surely they may forget–yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands!” Isaiah 49:15-16

The believer is safe from all real evils. He is under . . .
the special care and charge of Christ,
the sunshine of his Father’s love,
the watchful eye of the Great Shepherd,
the guidance and guardianship of the Holy Spirit.

What a precious, unutterably precious truth is this! May we . . .
press it to our hearts,
enjoy it in our daily walk, and
relish it as we would our choicest treasure!

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer! My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!” Psalm 18:2

For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in his dwelling. He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock!” Psalm 27:5

Christian History Made Easy

If you are looking for something to do with your small group, take a look at this Bible series.  Check out this website for more information!

Just clock on the website, if that doesn’t work then, Highlight – copy – and paste into your web browser —– http://www.christianhistorymadeeasy.com/

What Is This Study About?

Covers People and Events Every Christian Should Know!

In this 12-session DVD-based study, Dr. Timothy Paul Jones takes you through the most important events in Christian history from the time of the apostles to today. He brings to life the fascinating people and events that shaped our world.

This isn’t dry names and dates. It’s full of dramatic stories told with a touch of humor. This series, based on Dr. Jones’s popular award-winning book Christian History Made Easy, ties in spiritual lessons believers can glean from the past, and shows how God was (and still is) working in his church despite all the ups and downs.

It uses animated clips and a great sense of humor to make Christian history interesting, fun, and memorable.

You will learn:

  • The real-life stories of people such as St. Patrick, Martin Luther, and Augustine
  • People who changed history: Constantine, Charlemagne, and Francis of Assisi
  • How we got the Bible that we read today — John Wycliffe, William Tyndale and others
  • The Middle Ages and the Reformation: Kings and Queens, Monks and Reformers
  • Where church doctrines and practices originated
  • How the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches came to be
  • Reason and Revival – How modernity and the scientific revolution affected Christianity
  • How Christianity has spread around the world

Session Overview

SESSION ONE: The First Christians, AD 1–100
Nero; the Persecution of Early Christians; and the Fall of Jerusalem
SESSION TWO: Defending the Truth, AD 100–300
Four Heresies within the Early Church; Jesus’ Divinity; and the Bible’s Authenticity
SESSION THREE: From Persecuted to Preferred, AD 300–500
Constantine; the Legalization of Christianity; and the Council of Nicaea
SESSION FOUR: Christianity on the Move, AD 300–500
Gregory of Nazianzus; Fall of the Roman Empire; and Augustine
SESSION FIVE: A Church Divided, AD 500–1300
Roman Church vs. Eastern Church; Charlemagne; and the Crusades
SESSION SIX: God’s Work Goes On, AD 500–1300
Boniface; St. Francis of Assisi; and Thomas Aquinas
SESSION SEVEN: Everything Falls Apart, AD 1300–1500
Hundred Years’ War; Bubonic Plague; and John Wycliffe
SESSION EIGHT: The Reformation, AD 1500–1600
Martin Luther; John Calvin; and William Tyndale
SESSION NINE: Post-Reformation Growing Pains, AD 1600–1700
Arminianism vs. Calvinism; Puritans; John Bunyan; and William Wilberforce
SESSION TEN: Revolutions in the New World, AD 1600–1700
Pilgrims; Deism; John Wesley; Jonathan Edwards; George Whitefield; and The Great Awakening
SESSION ELEVEN: Ageless Faith in an Age of Reason, AD 1700–1900
The Enlightenment; William Carey; D. L. Moody; and Charles Spurgeon
SESSION TWELVE: A Global Gospel, AD 1900–Present
Pentecostalism; Liberalism vs. Fundamentalism; Dietrich Bonhoeffer; and Billy Graham

Who is This Study For?

This DVD-based study is ideal for small groups, Bible studies, adult Sunday school, or individual study. Ages: young adult to adult.

Whether you are already a Christian history buff or not, this study is a must-have for any believer. It highlights the roots of Christianity every Christian should know and uplifts believers by showing how God is always in control in times of prosperity, in seasons of disaster, and in their lives today.

The Complete Study Kit provides all the material needed for small group settings and the Leader Pack provides the needed tools for personal, independent use. You just order additional participant guides for each additional group member.

This study is easy to lead! Any volunteer who is interested in the topic can lead a group. You don’t have to be an expert. The DVD does all of the teaching and the discussion questions, diagrams, and insights are right in the participant guide and leader guide.

Complete Kit contains everything you need, including:

  • Leader pack with the DVD of twelve 30-minute video sessions and PDF files for promotional posters, fliers, handouts, bulletin inserts, and banners for you to print.
  • One printed leader guide + PDF of the leader guide.
  • One printed participant guide with session outlines, discussion questions, definitions, and time lines. Buy an additional participant guide for each person.
  • One copy of the award-winning Christian History Made Easy book. This full-color, 224-page book by Timothy Paul Jones tells additional stories that shaped Christian history.
  • One CD-ROM containing the fully illustrated 100-slide Christian History Made Easy PowerPoint® presentation to give the leader optional material such as additional images and information to go deeper into popular events and people.

The Christian History Made Easy Leader Pack Includes:

  • A DVD of the 12 30-minute teaching sessions and a PDF of the leader guide which may be printed out (you will need to order the participant guide separately for each participant).
  • A CD-ROM that contains PDFs of fliers, brochures, bulletin inserts, doorhangers, posters, and banners for promoting the study.

What Will My Group Get Out of This Study?

5 reasons why your group should buy this study:

  1. Packed with real-life stories that will inform, inspire, and challenge your small group.
  2. Covers key events and figures throughout Christian history from the time of Jesus to modern day—that every Christian should know!
  3. Highlights how God is always in control in times of prosperity, in seasons of disaster, and in your life today.
  4. Uses animated clips and a sense of humor to makes history fun.
  5. Easy to lead—no expertise required!
Component Complete Kit with Sample of all Printed Curriculum – $129.99
Product Code: 157X
ISBN 9781596365254
“Leader Pack” – $49.99
Twelve-Session DVD
Product Code: 157DV
ISBN 9781596365261
Twelve sessions on DVD – $49.99
1 Printed Leader Guide* – $14.99
96 pages; Not reproducible; ISBN 9781596365278
1 Printed Participant Guide* – $9.99
128 pages; Not reproducible: ISBN 9781596365285
PDF of Leader Guide (digital file)
PowerPoint on CD-ROM* – $39.99 value
125 slides; Not reproducible; ISBN 9781596363410
Christian History Made Easy Book* – $14.99
224 pages; Not reproducible; ISBN 9781596363281
PDF files for posters, fliers, handouts, bulletin inserts, and banners

Who Can Fairly Represent The Horrors Of The Place? – James Smith

HELL_BC5Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come!” 1 Thessalonians 1:10

Salvation includes deliverance from Hell. Of all dreadful places–Hell is the most dreadful. No one figure can give us an adequate idea of it. It is the prison, where God’s enemies are confined. It is a lake of fire and brimstone, where the traitors against the Savior’s throne and government are punished. There, all is dark, dreary, agonizing, and horrible! Despair reigns, desperation works, and horror preys upon its victims. The worm of a guilty conscience never dies. The fire of of God’s just wrath is never quenched. Prepared for the devil and his angels–Hell is now destined to be the eternal habitation of every impenitent sinner. In Hell, the sufferer is forever shut out from the glorious presence of God–and is shut in with devils and damned souls.

Hell is a prison where there is . . .
no order–but horror,
no voice–but of blasphemers cursing God, themselves, and all around them,
no sounds–but the howling of the tortured and the torturers,
no society–but devils and the damned–who being tormented themselves, forever torment others!

There sinners experience . . .
punishment–without pity;
misery–without mercy;
sorrow–without support;
crying–without comfort;
mischief–without measure;
torment–without ease;
and despair–without hope!

The wrath of God will seize upon body and soul like fire! In that flame, the sufferer is . . .
forever burning–but is never consumed;
forever dying–but never dead;
forever writhing in the pangs of the second death–and never freed from those pangs; nor does he ever know an end of his pains.

Who can fairly represent the horrors of that horrible place, where Divine wrath which has been accumulating for ages–bursts forth without control or cessation! Such is the desert of sin, and such the doom of every unconverted sinner.

But salvation is a deliverance from Hell–complete and eternal deliverance! Oh what a mercy is this! One would think that everyone who heard of it would rejoice, embrace the glad tidings, and escape from the wrath to come!

But this is not the case! There is a Deliverer–but He is despised. There is free deliverance–but it is slighted. Men choose eternal death, rather than eternal life!

What a mercy to be delivered from Hell!

The Father Glorified – Herein is My Father Glorified, that Ye Bear Much Fruit, John 15.8

to-god-be-the-glory_wide_t_nvHow can we glorify God? Not by adding to His glory or bringing Him any new glory that He has not. But simply by allowing His glory to shine out through us, by yielding ourselves to Him, that His glory may manifest itself in us and through us to the world. In a vineyard or a vine bearing much fruit, the owner is glorified, as it tells of his skill and care. In the disciple who bears much fruit, the Father is glorified. Before men and angels, proof is given of the glory of God’s grace and power; God’s glory shines out through him.

This is what Peter means when he writes: “He that ministers, let him minister as of the ability that God giveth, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” As a man works and serves in a power which comes from God alone, God gets all the glory. When we confess that the ability came from God alone, he that does the work, and they who see it, equally glorify God. It was God who did it. Men judge by the fruit of a garden of what the gardener is. Men judge of God by the fruit that the branches of the Vine of His planting bears. Little fruit brings little glory to God.

It brings no honor to either the Vine or the Husbandman. “That ye bear much fruit, herein is my

Father glorified.” We have sometimes mourned our lack of fruit, as a loss to ourselves and our fellow men, with complaints of our feebleness as the cause. Let us rather think of the sin and shame of little fruit as robbing God of the glory He ought to get from us. Let us learn the secret of bringing glory to God, serving of the ability which God giveth. The full acceptance of Christ’s Word, “You can do nothing”; the simple faith in God, who worketh all in all; the abiding in Christ through whom the divine Husbandman does His work and gets much fruit—this is the life that will bring glory to God.

Much fruit—God asks it; see that you give it. God can be content with nothing less; be you content with nothing less. Let these words of Christ—fruit, more fruit, much fruit—abide in you, until you think as He does, and you be prepared to take from Him, the heavenly Vine, what He has for you. Much fruit: herein is my Father glorified. Let the very height of the demand be your encouragement. It is so entirely beyond your power that it throws you more entirely upon Christ, your true Vine. He can, He will, make it true in you.

Much fruit—God asks because he needs. He does not ask fruit from the branches of His Vine for show, to prove what He can do. No; He needs it for the salvation of men: it is in that He is to be glorified. Throw yourself in much prayer on your Vine and your Husbandman. Cry to God and your Father to give you fruit to bring to men. Take the burden of the hungry and the perishing on you, as Jesus did when He was moved with compassion, and your power in prayer, and your abiding, and your bearing much fruit to the glory of the Father will have a reality and a certainty you never knew before.

All of Life’s Aiming and Striving – J.R. Miller

2022341He who says he abides in Him, ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:6

Character grows as the baby matures into manhood. Every day something is written on our character, some mark made.
The mother writes something;
the teacher writes something;
every day’s experiences write some words;
every touch or influence of other lives, leaves some mark;
temptation and struggle, do their part in filling the page;
books, education, sorrow, joy, companions, friends–
all of life touches and paints some line of beauty–or scratches some mark of marring on our character.

Our final character, is the result of all these influences which work and co-work upon our life. In the end, we shall be altogether like Jesus; hence all of life’s aiming and striving should be towards His blessed beauty.

For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son!” Romans 8:29

After the Tribulation

Hey everyone!  Take a look at this video (link below).  You may have to watch it in segments because it is almost 2  hours long.  These pastors make a valid point and back it up very well with Scripture.

My belief is – are you ready? I believe denominations put too much into these concepts.  God has made it clear, that we will not know they day or time (Matthew 24.36) and we are to keep watch (Matthew 25.13, Ezekiel 3.17-19, 33.1-33, Luke 21.36).

If you are ready, then it will not matter when Jesus comes back.  If there is a pre tribe – great, we will not have to suffer.  If there is a mid tribe – then God will protect us, if there is a post tribe – then God will sustain us.

The bottom line is — If we are ready, He promises to be — with us always, even till the end of the age (Matthew 28.20) and He will never leave us nor forsake us (Joshua 1.5).

We may suffer (Matthew 5.12), but as a Christian our ultimate destiny is Heaven and eternal life!

Also – I think his point on the anti-Christ is very interesting.  Many will be deceived if we do not stay true to God’s Word.

Rich

7 Myths That Keep You Stuck – by Kary Oberbrunner

Weight-Loss-Facts-And-MythsWhat annoys you?

Fingernails scratching on the chalkboard? Soup served cold when you’re famished? Important cell phone calls dropped?

Did I get your number yet?

Maybe for you it’s not one of these but rather an empty toilet paper roll when you’re in desperate need of some? Or the feeling you get when someone just stole your parking spot and you’re running late?

Do any of these raise your stress level?

For me, none of these compare to my biggest stressor: being stuck. I hate being stuck, because stuck stinks! Stuck is slow death and chronic Pain.

Not only do I detest it, but I also loathe when other people are stuck. The only difference between being stuck in a rut and stuck in a grave is six feet. I like to see potential flowing smooth and free, unlocked and unleashed. I like to imagine the possibilities and taste the variety of options because I’m fueled by progress and adrenalized by production.

But I know the opposite too. I know plenty of people who are stuck. And I’ve not only seen the other side; regrettably I’ve taken up residence there in times past. I’ve camped in its courtyards and made my bed in its brokenness, most nights unconsciously. I don’t think any of us willingly choose to be stuck. I believe we slip into it rather unintentionally. Given a little time, though, we become full-fledged residents. This doesn’t excuse our condition; it only explains it.

I’ve discovered that many of us cling to 7 myths that keep us stuck.

I bet people taught you the same warmed-over clichés they taught me. See if you can finish these statements:

1.    No Pain, no ______.

2.    Winners never quit, and quitters never___.

3.    If you can dream it, you can do ______.

4.    No guts, no ________.

5.    The early bird gets the _________.

6.    It’s not what you know, it’s who you ____.

7.    Be at the right place at the right _______.

Funny how much these myths shape our ideology and direct our actions, many times even indirectly. Although a tiny nugget of truth might reside within each phrase, breaking them down reveals some interesting false assumptions.

1. No Pain, no gain.

Key point: Hard work

False assumption: Pain produces promotion.

Truth: Choosing the right Pain produces promotion.

Story: I know people who work incredibly hard, never reach their potential, and die with their music still inside them.

2. Winners never quit, and quitters never win.

Key point: Persistence

False assumption: Stick with something long enough and you will win.

Truth: Healthy self-awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses combined with persistence can convert into winning.

Story: I know people who never gave up their dream but failed to acknowledge they were completely unqualified to achieve it.

3. If you can dream it, you can do it.

Key point: Imagination

False assumption: Imagination guarantees you will achieve what you want.

Truth: Vision is only the first step in possibly achieving what you want.

Story: I know people who have an unlimited amount of ideas that never amount to anything.

4. No guts, no glory.

Key point: Risk

False assumption: Risk will yield reward.

Truth: The right risk at the right time in the right way with the right people will yield reward.

Story: I know people who take all kinds of risks and simply take recklessness with them wherever they go.

5. The early bird gets the worm.

Key point: Scarcity

False assumption: There is only one worm.

Truth: A mindset of scarcity, fear, and competition will produce a toxic attitude of threat and defensiveness.

Story: I know people who rush to take first and are in last place because of it.

6. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Key point: Luck

False assumption: You can blame your plateau on the person you don’t even know yet.

Truth: Before others will choose to believe in you, they will naturally judge if you believe in yourself.

Story: I know people who emitted the right frequency and attracted the right people to them because of it.

7. Be at the right place at the right time.

Key point: Chance

False assumption: You stumble into greatness when you stumble into the right space.

Truth: If you’ve prepared for the moment, then the moment is prepared for you.

Story: I know people who won while in the wrong place at the wrong time and others who lost when they were in the right place at the right time.

Taking the Deeper Path prepares us how to identify and overcome these myths that keep us stuck. Isn’t it time to break free?

Kary Oberbrunner founded Redeem the Day, a movement connecting people to a process that ignites their souls on fire. Author of Your Secret Name, The Fine Line, Called and The Journey toward Relevance, Kary earned a Doctorate in Transformational Leadership and a Master of Divinity. Besides life coaching, he serves as a pastor at Grace Church in Ohio.

 

If Ye Abide

waytruthlifeIf Ye Abide in Me, and My Words, Abide in You, Ask Whatsoever Ye Will, and it Shall be Done Unto You—John 15.7

The reason the Vine and its branches are such a true parable of the Christian life is that all nature has one source and breathes one spirit. The plant world was created to be to man an object lesson teaching him his entire dependence upon God, and his security in that dependence. He that clothes the lilies, will much more cloth us. He that gives the trees and the vines their beauty and their fruits, making each what He meant it to be, will much more certainly make us what He would have us to be. The only difference is what God works in the trees is by a power of which they are not conscious. He wants to work in us with our consent. This is the nobility of man that he has a will that can cooperate with God in understanding and approving and accepting what He offers to do.

If ye abideHere is the difference between the branch of the natural and the branch of the spiritual Vine. The former abides by force of nature: the latter abides, not by force of will, but by a divine power given to the consent of the will. Such is the wonderful provision God has made that, what the power of nature does in the one case; the power of grace will do in the other. The branch can abide in the Vine.

If ye abide in me…ask whatsoever ye willIf we are to live a true prayer life, with the love and the power and the experience of prayer marking it, there must be no question about the abiding. And if we abide, there need be no question about the liberty of asking what we will, and the certainty of its being done. There is the one condition: “If ye abide in me.” There must be no hesitation about the possibility or the certainty of it. We must gaze on that little branch and its wonderful power of bearing such beautiful fruit until we truly learn to abide. And what is its secret? Be wholly occupied with Jesus. Sink the roots of your being in faith and love and obedience deep down into Him. Come away out of every other place to abide here. Give up everything for the inconceivable privilege of being a branch on earth of the glorified Son of God in Heaven. Let Christ be first. Let Christ be all. Do not be occupied with the abiding – be occupied with Christ! He will hold you; He will keep you abiding in Him. He will abide in you.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in youThis He gives as the equivalent of the other expression: “I in you. If my words abide in you,” that is, not only in meditation, in memory, in love, in faith – all these words enter into your will, your being, and constitute your life – if they transform your character into their own likeness, and you become and are what they speak and mean—ask what ye will; it shall be done unto you. Your words to God in prayer will be the fruit of Christ and His words living in you.

Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto youBelieve in the truth of this promise. Set yourself to be an intercessor for men; a fruit-bearing intercessor, ever calling down more blessing. Such faith and prayer will help you wonderfully to abide wholly and unceasingly.