The Abiding Believer

The Abiding Believer

“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” (John 15:10).  Jesus faithfully obeyed every commandment of His Father and He called that abiding.

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Some Christians think they can pick and choose which commandments of Christ to obey.  If they don’t like what is commanded, they simply ignore it or explain away their disobedience with, “I just don’t see it that way; I don’t believe it like that.”  If people do not like a pastor’s call to be holy, they just leave and go looking for a pastor who will accentuate the positive.  That is why the terrible plague of apathy is sweeping over the church today.  We have been so afraid of works, so riled up about legalism, that we have given obedience a bad name.

How is it possible for a branch in Him not to abide?  Jesus said: “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (verse 6).  Can it be any clearer?  Abiding includes rest and responsibility.  It is possible to be in Him, connected to the vine, and not have a flow of life with which to bear fruit.  Abiding has to do with absolute obedience to the commandments of Christ because every branch has a free will—a life force in it.  The branch is not passive; it must draw out the life from the vine.  “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you” (verse 7).  This brings out that the Word is the Father’s pruning knife.  How can any branch bear fruit if the Word of the Lord is ignored, unknown, neglected?

We see the fruits of dryness springing up all over the Lord’s vineyard— adultery, fornication, drinking, drugs— because the pruning process has stopped with so many.  The word of God is His knife, a two edged sword.  The majority of Christians today do not know the Word of God because they do not read it.  It is impossible to bear the fruit of righteousness without His Word abiding in you.  Neglect of the Word is causing barrenness and bringing a terrible withering to God’s people.

The abiding believer is one who loves and fears God, who hungers for the Word and trembles at His power of conviction.  He delights in having the Word prune away all hindrances, prays that the very life and likeness of Christ will be ever-increasing in him, and grows more and more mature in obedience and love.

By David Wilkerson (1931 – 2011)

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Don't Waste Your Life

Don't Waste Your Life

My son Justus showed me the following video. He said it has made a profound impression on him… and I can see why. Powerful stuff.

I have included the lyrics for those dinosaurs out there, like me, who find rap a bit hard to follow.

Listen, be challenged, and enjoy.big_lines

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Don’t Waste Your Life
By Lecrae

I know a lot of people out there scared they gone die
Couple of em thinking they’ll be livin in the sky
But while I’m here livin man I gotta ask why, what am here fo I gotta figure out
Waste my life
No I gotta make it count
If Christ is real then what am I gone do about
Everything in Luke 12:15 down to 21
You really oughta go and check it out
Paul said if Christ ain’t resurrect then we wasted our lives
Well that implies that our life’s built around Jesus being alive
Everyday I’m living tryin show the world why
Christ is more than everything you’ll ever try
Better than pretty women and sinning and living to get a minute of any women and men that you admire
It ain’t no lie

We created for Him
Outta the dust He made us for Him
Elects us and He saves us for Him
Jesus comes and raises for Him
Magnify the Father why bother with something lesser
He made us so we could bless Him and to the world we confess Him
Resurrects Him
So I know I got life
Matter fact better man I know I got Christ
If you don’t’ see His ways in my days and nights
You can hit my brakes you can stop my lights
Man I lost my rights
I lost my life
Forget the money cars and toss that ice
The cost is Christ
And they could never offer me anything on the planet that’ll cost that price.

Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my
Don’t wanna waste my
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life

Suffer
Yeah do it for Christ if you trying to figure what to do with your life
If you making lot a money hope you doing it right because the money is Gods you better steward it right
Stay focused if you ain’t got no ride
Your life ain’t wrapped up in what you drive
The clothes you wear the job you work
The color your skin naw we Christian first
People get to living life for a job
Make a lil money start living for a car
Get em a house a wife kids and a dog
When they retire they living high on the hog
But guess what they didn’t ever really live at all
To live is Christ yeah that’s Paul I recall
To die is gain so for Christ we give it all
He’s the treasure you’ll find in the mall
Your money your singleness marriage talent your time
They were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
That’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes
That’s why it’s Christ all the time
See my whole world is built around Him He’s the life in my lines
I refused to waste my life
He’s too true ta chase that ice
Heres my gifts and time cause I’m constantly trying to be used to praise the Christ
If He’s truly raised to life
Then this news should change your life
And by His grace you can put your faith in place that rules your days and nights.

Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life
Don’t wanna waste my
Don’t wanna waste my
Don’t wanna waste my life, life, life

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The Human Side of the Nativity

The Human Side of the Nativity

Recently I have been pondering the events surrounding the birth of Christ.  The Nativity, as it is known.

But I have not been pondering the stuff we preach about every December.  You know, the supernatural side of that birth, the star in the sky, the annunciation of the angels to the shepherds, or the coming of the magi with gifts of great value.  No, I have been thinking about a man and young woman.  Tired.  Alone.  Rejected.  Seemingly forsaken.  They were frightened as Mary’s labor pains, sharp, deep and increasing in intensity and frequency, signaled that the birth of Messiah was drawing near.  And they were terrified at all that wondrous birth would entail.

Two people.  Two lives.  Two different stories.

The following is a song that, for me, captures the heart of young Mary as she gives birth to her Son, our Lord, Jesus.  It is written by Andrew Peterson and sung by Jill Phillips.  It’s called, “Labor of Love.”

Listen and reflect on that night, from the heart of Mary.

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maryIt was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyway that night
On the streets of David’s town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother’s hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
Every beat of her beautiful heart
Was a labor of love

Noble Joseph by her side
Calloused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
On the streets of David’s town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
Every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love
Little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
It was a labor of love

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And then we have the story told from Joseph’s side. This moving song is from Sawyer Brown titled, “It Wasn’t His Child” from their 19th album, True Believer. Listen to the Nativity as told by Joseph.

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josephHe was her man, she was his wife
And late one winter night
He knelt by her
As she gave birth
But it wasn’t his child
It wasn’t his child

Yet still he took him as his own
And as he watched him grow
It brought him joy
He loved that boy
But it wasn’t his child
It wasn’t his child

But like a father he was strong and kind and good
And I believe he did his best
It wasn’t easy for him but he did all he could
His son was different from the rest
It wasn’t his child
It wasn’t his child

And when the boy became a man
He took his father’s hand
And soon the world
Would all know why
It wasn’t his child
It wasn’t his child

But like a father he was strong and kind and good
And I believe he did his best
It wasn’t easy for him but he did all he could
He grew up with his hands in wood
And he died with his hands in wood
He was God’s child
He was God’s child

He was her man
She was his wife
And late one winter night
He knelt by her
As she gave birth
But it wasn’t his child
He was God’s child

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