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Israel’s Redemption

On that day the Lord with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea. On that day: A pleasant vineyard, sing about it! I, the Lord, am its keeper; every moment I water it. I guard it night and day so that no one can harm it; I have no wrath. If it gives me thorns and briers, I will march to battle against it. I will burn it up. Or else let it cling to me for protection, let it make peace with me, let it make peace with me. In days to come Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots, and fill the whole world with fruit. Has he struck them down as he struck down those who struck them? Or have they been killed as their killers were killed? By expulsion, by exile you struggled against them; with his fierce blast he removed them in the day of the east wind. Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be expiated, and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin: when he makes all the stones of the altars like chalkstones crushed to pieces, no sacred poles or incense altars will remain standing. For the fortified city is solitary, a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness; the calves graze there, there they lie down, and strip its branches. When its boughs are dry, they are broken; women come and make a fire of them. For this is a people without understanding; therefore he that made them will not have compassion on them, he that formed them will show them no favor. (Isaiah 27:1-11, NRSV)

The Lord is the keeper of the Vineyard, a pleasant vineyard, that He waters and guards night and day.

This vineyard is Israel and it will bloom and take over the whole world filling it with succulent fruit.

God will fill His people with good things and will have them overrun the earth.

Are you ready to be fruit for the kingdom?

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abide in love

”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. (John 15:1-17, NRSV)

Love one another and abide in me.

Jesus tells the disciples how they are connected to Him in a way they can understand. Some scholars even believe that Jesus was walking through a vineyard when this discussion happened, because there was a vineyard close by where they would have been walking that night, as you see this is part of the farewell discourse that happened the night He was arrested. Jesus is the vine that runs between us and connects us together and with the Father and when we abide in Him, we abide in each other and the Father.

So if we abide in Jesus we will bear fruit. We will bear the fruit of love.

So abide in love and bear the fruit which the world needs.

 

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River of life

170324Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:1-5, NRSV)

Can you imagine what heaven will be like?

Just reading the description of what John saw in his vision of heaven from Revelation it is going to be a beautiful place where we walk on gold and see precious stones as gates and walls!

Because the most precious thing there is God, and we will always be in His presence.

And yet we still have the tree of life with its 12 kinds of fruits! The tree of the knowledge of good and evil only had one fruit, but the tree of life has many, one for each month!

And we can eat from it all we want!

 

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light fruit

160701Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be associated with them. For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. (Ephesians 5:1-9, NRSV)

Now we walk in light! And as those who walk in the light we need to let the light shine!

So let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to our Father in Heaven.

Let His light shine through you so that there is no darkness found in you, allow Him to work all the darkness out so that others see God through your life.

And be filled with the light so you are a light fruit!

 

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Guided by the Spirit

160627For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love. You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? Such persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. I am confident about you in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty. But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves! For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:1-25, NRSV)

We as Christians are free from the bounds of the law, freed to live in the Spirit.

Circumcision doesn’t make us right with God. Christ has done that for us and freed us to live in the Spirit.

So show the fruit of the Spirit by loving the world as God first loved you!

 

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bear fruit

151218“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.  (John 15:1-8, NRSV)

Somehow a bear carved into a watermelon is not what Jesus had in mind when He said, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

And bearing fruit does not mean bringing fruit to people. Well ok the literal meaning of bearing fruit is bringing it to people, but we are not talking about real fruit here.

Jesus is saying that you are so connected to Him and the Father that your life is flowing with their will and their deeds.

The vinegrower takes away the branches that do not do the will od the Father so that those branches that are doing His will will get the food.

And those branches that do do His will, He prunes and trims back so that they will produce all the more.

So live in Christ and allow Him and the Father to permeate your life.

 

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Fruit of the Spirit

fruit-of-the-spirit-are-you-son-rippenedLive by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:16-26, NRSV)

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

But wouldn’t that be fruits of the spirit?

I mean fruit is singular, or is it. I live on fruit, means I don’t eat anything but fruit, but does it mean I only eat apples? And then is that only one type of apple?

Don’t all of these things love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control kind of have to do with the one thing we are told to do by Jesus and the Hebrew Scriptures: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and love you neighbor as yourself.

Love.

If there is love there is joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All of these things could be attributes of love.

So is the fruit of the spirit  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, or is it Love, and all the rest are attributes of love?

Yes is the answer. If you are living a life filled with the Spirit you will care more for the other than you will for yourself, so there will be all 9 of these: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

So live filled with the Spirit, and care for the other.

 

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