Abide in me.


 

Christ is the true vine.  God the Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear even more fruit.  Abide in me and I will abide in you.  Those that abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
Christ is the source of life, the source of eternal life, the source of the spirit.  That spirit tells us that we are far more than flesh and blood.  It tells us that we are beautifully and wonderfully made.  It gnaws within us, telling us to in things of eternity.
The battle within our mind and on the spiritual battlefield is waged every day.  We make choices every day.  To choose things of earth or eternity and convenience or Christ.  It is only when we abide in Christ that the battle is won.
Pastor Shawn, Seymour UMC
Author of Incomplete
shawnlarueorg.wordpress.com
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The Mother of the Boy With the Loaves and Fish


There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish.
John 6:9

A mother’s day is full of small tasks like making sandwiches and packing lunches while juggling tight schedules and finicky eaters. Children seldom say “Thank you” for their crackers, cheese, apple slices, and yogurt; and it’s natural for us to sometimes resent the onslaught of small, daily duties that come our way.

But Colossians 3:23 says, “…whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Imagine packing that lunch for Christ! That’s what happened when the mother packed the lad’s lunch in John 6, and it’s a lesson about our Lord’s ability to bless our small chores. A 1902 publication contained a prayer written by a woman named Olive Kimball, and perhaps it’s just the word you need today:

Dear Father, as we realize that we can do but little, may that thought never discourage us, but may we eagerly do whatever our hands find to do. Help us to realize that life is made up of nameless little things, and that true happiness only comes to those who find comfort and contentment in the doing of life’s smallest duties … Wilt, Thou, oh God, bless the ministry of small things if done in the Master’s Name. Amen.

Faithfulness in the small things will lead to blessing in the big things.
Warren W. Wiersbe, in The Bumps Are What You Climb On

The Great I AM


And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
Exodus 3:14

When Moses asked God for His name, the Lord answered, “I AM WHO I AM,” indicating He is self-existent, eternal, unchanging, undying, and infinitely self-sufficient. Centuries later, Jesus adopted this name for Himself in John’s Gospel, saying, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58), and telling us, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35),” I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), “I am the door” (John 10:9), “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11), “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).

This is the One in whom we place our trust. Because He is self-existent, we have a basis for our own existence. Because He is eternal, we have everlasting life in Him. Because He is unchanging, we can trust every word in His Book. Because He is infinitely self-sufficient, He can meet all our needs.

Since He is our bread and light, we have provision. Since He is the door, we have entrance into His presence. Since He is the good shepherd, we have His care. Since He is the resurrection and the life, we have a certain future.

We are, because He is.

There is no power in hell or any who can stand / Before the power and the presence of the Great I Am!
Jared Anderson, in the song “Great I Am”

For this reason…


Ephesians 3:14-20

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.  I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.”

 For this reason.  For this reason…and what reason is that?  Paul had just written that he was the very least of all the saints and it was God’s grace that was granted to him to preach the boundless riches of Christ. 

For and because of God’s grace, it is that for that reason that Paul’s knees bow before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.  God’s grace is the reason.

Salvation by grace through faith.  This unlimited treasure of grace.  Let me ask you this question, do you allow yourself to be full open to receive grace?  Are you able to fully receive it and extend it to others?

I am guilty of this.  I am guilty of not taking the time to reflect on all that God has done for me and taking many times for granted.  I am guilty of being closed off to grace at times and of trying to do something to earn it.

Maybe you have done the same.  Gone through a time of spiritual dryness or struggle.  Trying to balance the demands of ministry, family, your own spiritual growth and for those of us that are bi-vocational, a full-time job as well.  Too many things to get done, allowing little time to reflect on God’s work in our own lives.

 Paul was a man that suffered many hardships for the sake of the gospel.  He became a servant according to the gift of God’s grace.  As we all know Paul wasn’t always a servant for Christ.  He persecuted Christians and tried to extinguish the early church.  God’s redeeming work and grace took a man that killed Christians and made him a man that would help save them. 

Paul is the most prolific writer in the New Testament.  If grace can change a heart that hard, what can it do for each of us?  What each one of us are capable of.  For this reason, for the saving grace of our God, my knees bow before the Father.

Pastor Shawn LaRue

Author of Incomplete

incompletedevotional.com