Thursday, April 3, 2008

"Remain in me and you will bear much fruit."

I had an amazing conversation last night with a couple that's new to TF and new to following Jesus. They are so open and receptive right now and God is doing some major work in their lives and their marriage. It's incredible to see how God responds to people who are eager to grow in his grace.

Last night was the second amazing conversation I've had with them. Easter Sunday night was the first. God clearly directed me in that initial conversation, helping them come to the point of where they are now.

And they weren't the only people to take some big steps on Easter Sunday. Over the past two weeks, many positive comments about my message on Easter have been filtering back to me. (By the way, I hear everything that people say, positive and negative, it eventually gets back to me, which is kind of strange). To summarize, my Easter Sunday message was right on. What's awesome is that these comments are coming from those who came on Easter simply to appease the friends who had invited them. None of them really cared about church, most were/are atheist or agnostic. And yet, my message on the resurrection connected with them(?). Just think about that for a moment... Is there any way that is due to my incredible speaking ability? No, no FREAKIN way is that because of me.

Listen to what Jesus said in John 15: 1 "I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

At the beginning of the year, God lead me to spend three hours a week prayer for TF and three hours a week in personal prayer and bible reading. I've been completely faithful (well, I am actually a half hour behind in personal prayer) to that calling. Every single week, whether I feel like it or not, I've been doing what God asked me to do. Those 6 hours a week have been my way of remaining in the vine. I've been faithful to what God has asked me to do and he's now using my life to produce fruit. Simply Amazing!!!

What about you? Is your life producing fruit for the kingdom? If so - keep it up! If not, what does it look like for you to remain in Jesus? Life's too short and our mission as Christians is way too important to not be producing fruit.

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