This Page will contain teachings about Abiding in the Vine, and being connected to Christ.  I will keep adding on to it one underneath the other.  They are bitesized, not "all inclusive,"  But I pray that they bless you.  Feel free to post comments or questions.  Much Love, Your Internet Pastor-Nancy

1. Abundance Comes From Being and Staying Connected To Christ

Super Abundance (I saw a vine just over laden with produce.)
Prolific Expansion of the Kingdom.”  If we look in John 15:4-5 Jesus speaks of this very thing:

(CEV) Stay joined to Me, and I will stay joined to you.  Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without Me.

A friend of mine encouraged me to turn on Joyce Meyer the other day… I don’t often watch TV at all, but I did turn on the program.  Amazingly enough she was talking about always being busy- but are we PRODUCTIVE?

Jesus said we can’t produce, without being vitally connected to Him. (AMP) I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

The Word “ABIDE” has this meaning: to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): - abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), thine own. To continue to be present.  To remain as one, not to become another or different.

We have to stay in relationship and union with Him. We need to continue to be present.  We can’t disconnect, nor depend on yesterday’s flow- it has to be NOW.  We have to be one with Christ, united and constant. Not to lose focus or purpose, but staying in relationship with Him and expectancy.

Webster’s gives this definition:
To join or unite; to conjoin, in almost any manner, either by junction, by any intervening means, or by order and relation. We connect letters and words in a sentence; we connect ideas in the mind; we connect arguments in a discourse. The strait of Gibraltar connects the Mediterranean with the Atlantic. A treaty connects two nations. The interests of agriculture are connected with those of commerce. Families are connected by marriage or by friendship.

We are connected to Christ by 1. His sacrifice for us- His shed Blood and the operation of the Holy Spirit in our lives 2. Our responding to that tremendous gift, and 3. Our ongoing choice to seek Him DAILY, HOURLY, MINUTE BY MINUTE!

Stay connected! Be fruitful. 
Pastor Nancy

2. Abiding Under His Yoke

Continuing on with our thoughts of being connected to the Vine, let’s look at abiding again:

The word “abide”means: to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): - abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain.  Websters: To continue permanently or in the same state; to be firm and immovable. Abide is a verb. When used intransitively it is used followed by “in” or “at” when speaking of a place or “with” for a person. In general, abide by signifies to adhere to, maintain defend, or stand to, as to abide by a promise, or by a friend; or to suffer the consequences, as to abide by the event, that is, to be fixed or permanent in a particular condition.

So now let’s re-read these verses in John, putting it into the above perspective.

 Joh 15:5, I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth (remains in relationship and expectancy, firm and immoveable) in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:10  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.

The Message Bible puts it this way: If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done--kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love.

St. John wrote in his Epistle these words:
1Jn 5:3  For our love for God means that we obey his commands. And his commands are not too hard for us. 

Jesus is telling us that His commands are written out of Love for us- not to be hard and heavy to bear!  If we hitch up to the Word and allow the Master to harness us with His Love, we will find ourselves going on paths that we never dreamed of! Pathways of Grace, Mercy and Goodness, Kindness and Favor! Paths that draw others to the wagonload of Love that we are attached to!

(Amp)Mat 11:29-30  Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. 

[Jeremiah 6:16]
For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good--not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

(Msg) Mat 11:29-30  Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

The month of February is known for being for lovers, I encourage you to re-examine your love relationship with Jesus- the Lover of your soul.  Listen to the wooing and the gentle whispers from His Heart to yours.  The world is screaming disaster! recession! fear! uncertainty! lack! But listen to Jesus’ Words:

Joh 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Joh 15:9  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

He didn’t say continue in fear, turmoil, lack, confusion- He said, “Continue in My Love!”

(MSG) 1Jn 4:16-17  We know it so well, we've embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, LOVE has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry on Judgment Day--our standing in the world is identical with Christ's.

Be Blessed!  
Pastor Nancy

3.  Abiding in Christ Where Ever You Are

As we study on being connected and bearing fruit, I want to explore this verse:

Joh 12:24  (AMP)  I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.

Just as a branch cannot bear fruit if it is not connected to the vine or trunk of the tree, so too a kernel or seed cannot bear fruit unless it is connected to the ground, and that ground must be good soil to nourish it so it can produce.  Now, I did a word study on this verse and I have some interesting insights to share!    The seed has to be planted to produce.  I am not talking about money here, but rather CONNECTION.  Let me ask you, “what are you connected to?”  Do you know where YOU are to be planted?   Seed that does not fall  into good ground will not produce.  If the ground is not the right terrain for the type of seed being planted, it might be good soil, but the wrong kind for that seed.

The 2nd thing I want to point out is the seed has to die. Until you are ready to lay down your own agendas, you will not produce the way HE intends for you to produce! The seed when it dies, its tough outer skin is softened and breaks open to reveal the heart where germination takes place.  As the seed’s tough out shell cracks it allows for the water to soak in along with the nutrients of the soil and the heart is fed and bursts forth with an embryo of a germ carrying the entire blueprint if you will of the plant that the seed will produce.  It sticks its head up and begins pushing through the soil while its roots go down deep to pick up nourishment and strength.  The seed has ceased to exist, but in it’s place is something born out of it’s heart.

The 3rd thing I want to point out is one of the translations for ground is “Country” as in a land with fixed boundaries and borders.  The seed must fall into the country for which it is intended so that it may produce many others.

Let me share one other verse with you quickly.  Act 1:8  (AMP)  But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

The word “witness” comes from the  Greek word martus- meaning Martyr.  A martyr is one who dies for their faith and principles.  Let me tie it together for you.  The seed must be put into the ground (the country) and die – be a martyr, so it can produce much fruit in that country.  Are you willing to die for your Faith?  In the most literally sense it is to be a martyr who is persecuted for their Faith, and possibly to lose your physical life. In the less literal sense, are you willing to die to yourself? Your own agenda’s and desires, that God’s agenda and desires can be birthed in and through you?   This is a daily dying.  I trust we all can and will continually say yes to this!

I will let you chew on this, more in the next post!
Pastor Nancy 

4. Adhering and Staying Connected

The world around us is rapidly changing, but God’s Word remains ever true! We are following His admonition to Abide in Him.  Indeed, it was this very abiding, that brought life to where death thought to have prevailed!  As you know, if you cut branches off a tree, as long as the root is firmly planted, the tree continues to flourish and produce.  Sometimes we need to evaluate things within our lives- are they only sucker branches, pulling life out of us and not giving anything in return?  As we stay connected to Christ, and allow Him to work in our lives, some things will naturally get lopped off and we will move forward, free and unrestricted!  Others, we will have to make a conscious choice to put out of our lives. It is so with all of us. 

Jesus, though the Son of God, learned obedience here on earth as a son of man, walking as a man full of God’s Spirit. He had to make choices daily and listen to His Father’s voice.  That is why the writer of Hebrews reminds us:

Heb 2:17-18 (Msg)  That's why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people's sins, he would have already experienced it all himself--all the pain, all the testing--and would be able to help where help was needed.
Heb 4:15 (AMP)  For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.

As we stay connected to Jesus, we have the Life of God flowing to us, and through us.  We are called to take this wonderful news and proclaim it to every creature. He gives us the ability through the life that we live that is hidden in Him.   Just as we cannot see the sap running through the tree branches unless we gouge the branch somehow, neither do we see the life of God with our physical eyes.  But we do see its results in changed lives!  We do see it in people becoming radically sold out for the One who died to help them really live!   This is not about us, but all about HIM! 

Look again at the story of Lazarus:

John 11:21-27  Martha then said to Jesus, Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.  And even now I know that whatever You ask from God, He will grant it to You. Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again. Martha replied, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her, I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live; And whoever continues to live and believes in (has faith in, cleaves to, and relies on) Me shall never [actually] die at all. Do you believe this?  She said to Him, Yes, Lord, I have believed [I do believe] that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), the Son of God, [even He] Who was to come into the world. [It is for Your coming that the world has waited]

Adhering to Him means STAYING CONNECTED! As we stay in relationship, resurrection power is flowing.  I speak LIFE right now into those areas of your life that seem dead.  Life to your finances! Life to your relationships! Life to your body and its well-being! Life to your spirit man!  Let the resurrection power, flow to you right now!  That same power that raised the Lord Jesus from the dead!  The same power with which HE spoke and Lazarus came forth! I speak Zoe Life to you and your dreams right now.  I speak to you COME FORTH out of the darkness of that place where the situations and storms have driven you.  Be set free!  Walk in the Light and Life of this day, for your Redeemer lives and is calling for you! 

5. Freedom In Being Connected To the Vine!

Continuing our discussion on being connected to the Vine, I want to focus on the FREEDOM that comes with connection!  Let’s look at our key verse again please:
John 15:4-5 (Amplified Bible) 4Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. 5I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

Look at this verse also: Acts 9:5 (Young's Literal Translation) 5And he said, `Who art thou, Lord?' and the Lord said, `I am Jesus whom thou dost persecute; hard for thee at the pricks to kick;'

What does this have to do with being connected?  A lot! Paul was out there hunting down the Christians t put them in jail.  He had a religious fervor that was misguided.  Jesus showed up on the scene and the Glory of the Lord knocked Paul off his high horse if you will!  Saul asked rather dazedly, “Lord (Sir?) WHO are you?” Then Jesus revealed Himself to him and also something else that is key for us: “it is HARD FOR YOU, when you kick at the pricks!”  “You are making things hard on yourself Paul, by remaining outside my yoke of fellowship and protection!”  Can you imagine a rose saying to the prickly bush it is attached to, “I don’t want to be attached to you, I don’t like your thorns!” No, if that rose is to grow and bloom into the fragrant beauty that it was created to be, it MUST stay attached to the bush until it is fully mature and ready to be cut off and put into a vase and have itself dethorned.

So too, we must stay attached to Christ in every situation!  Because if we bail out at the first sign of thorns and pricks, we are cutting ourselves off from the very source of LIFE (vitality) and we lose our ability to produce. The only thing that Paul had produced to date, was chaos and fear everywhere he went!  But when he hooked into Jesus, then LIFE flowed to and through him and then everywhere he went he still produced chaos- but for the enemy’s camp!  He was bringing people out of bondage into Life. Out of darkness into light.  He put on the yoke of Christ- he became a yoke fellow with Him and participated in where the Spirit was directing and with what the Spirit was doing. 

Bob Dylan wrote a song in 1979, long before he got saved 
that was actually very right on!  It is entitled, “Gotta Serve Somebody.” 
Here is the chorus to it: 
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

Paul thought he was serving God, going around stoning Christians.  He didn’t realize that he had a yoke on him that was a heavy one…and that he was kicking at the one the Lord was TRYING to put on him.  Jesus tells us to take HIS Yoke for it is easy and light.  The pricks were sharp goads imbedded in the front of the plow or wagon, so that when the oxen would try to kick at the one walking behind the yoke handling the plow, they would get pricked hard by the goad. It was to teach them to stop struggling and trying to go their own way… as many of us have tried to do at various times!  Jesus was relating something out of everyday living, as a parallel to make Paul (and us) understand that we make it hard on ourselves when we kick and fuss and rebel!  We make it hard to be productive and happy when we disconnect from our true power source and life source!  Yes we might limp along, (as those oxen did after kicking and hurting themselves), but we won’t ever achieve what we were really called to be and do, if we cut ourselves off from the Vine.  I heard Mike Murdock a long time ago say, “you are anatomically, and geographically correct and placed strategically in the right era and at the right time for your purpose in life!”   So, I encourage you to think about this and say to the Lord, “I accept my assignment here in earth- just show me where and what it is and help me to stay connected to you, so I can fulfill it!.”  Amen.

Until next time!

Pastor Nancy

6. Connected-Put Your Hand in His and Keep It There!

We are still talking about being connected to the Vine.  Let’s look at it in reference to Psa 45:4

(DRB)  (45:5) With thy comeliness and thy beauty set out, proceed prosperously, and reign. Because of truth and meekness and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully.

(GW)  Ride on victoriously in your majesty for the cause of truth, humility, and righteousness. Let your right hand teach you awe-inspiring things.

If you look at Psa. 45 it is written to the King(David) Now God has told us we are to reign as Kings in this life BY Christ Jesus (Rom. 5:17 NAS) so bear with me as I connect this with the word of the Lord He gave… “Being connected to the Vine.”

Right hand speaks of Power, speaks of Authority, speaks of FELLOWSHIP, and Acceptance.  When we shake hands with someone, we grasp (connect with) our RIGHT HAND to theirs.

A Pastor's wife was giving her testimony in church about standing on this scripture to receive a new car and so I looked the scripture up. God began to speak to me concerning the rest of the scripture.   The pastor was preaching on God putting His “yes” on your yes to Him, when you say yes to His promises or instruction and bring it to Him.  Ex: Like standing on a scripture for something.  What I saw was God having his hand outstretched and open, palm up.  In His palm there was something. I saw a box tied with a ribbon, but understood it could be deeper revelation of Himself, relationships, a car, a house, a job, doors of ministry… anything really that we need/want for God to give us. We come to Him and put forth our hand to accept His promise of it. To take it we must put our hand over it as it rests in His had. As we put our hand over it and cover it, He brings His other hand and covers our hand! We are now sandwiched in between God’s hands; our hand, His promise and His hands over it. Do you get the picture?  Now here is what He spoke to me as I saw this scenario:

“As long as you keep your hand in Mine, you will possess what it is you desire and long for that you have reached for.(What is in His hand). 

Then later, I was led to go to Kim Clement’s website and read his prophecy given on 12-31-08.   You can read it in full here:  http://www.kimclementvault.com/prophecyread.asp?num=325
 But I just want to excerpt this out of it:

“God's told me to tell you:  I've given you a key, given you a key to take away from me what I've held in my hand for so long, it's just for you.  I'm holding in my hand what you must take from me, and I've held it in my hand for such a time as this.”   Kim Clement 12-31-08

By staying connected to the vine… Your right hand will teach us awe inspiring things and conduct us wonderfully. Why?  Because we will be connected, in Communion and Fellowship with HIM, receiving from Him the knowledge, revelation and Grace that we need!

Dan 11:32  (AMP)  And such as violate the covenant he shall pervert and seduce with flatteries, but the people who know their God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits [for God].

This word “KNOW” is the Hebrew word “YADA.” Yada is intimacy. God is not a slot machine, a formula, or a sperm bank! (Pardon my vernacular) And it is ONLY through intimacy, staying connected, KNOWING HIM, His way of doing and being right, allowing Him to speak to our hearts, that we shall possess what He holds in His hand for us, that we shall do valiantly.

Ps. 60.12, Ps. 108:13  says   “Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies. “   And Psalm 118 further clarifies it:

Psa 118:15 (AMP)  The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents and private dwellings of the [uncompromisingly] righteous: the right hand of the Lord does valiantly and achieves strength!

As we stay focused on HIM, (not the current circumstances) stay focused on His Word, and His promises, we shall be able to run through a troop and leap over a wall.

2Sa 22:30(AMP)  For by You I run through a troop; by my God I leap over a wall.   (BBE)  By your help I have made a way through the wall which was shutting me in: by the help of my God I have gone over a wall.

My God – the SUPREME GOD!  Elsewhere in the Bible the writers refer to Him as “the God of my life:” El Chayim- the PERSONAL GOD. Is He personal to you? He wants to be! He LONGS to be!  I am reminded of a 1971 rock song by Ocean, here is the chorus:

Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water
Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea
Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently
By putting your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.

So, I exhort you to put your hand into His, reach for all He has waiting for you. Connect and stay connected! For those who have never connected to Him, you do so by asking Him to come into your heart and life and becoming the Supreme God, the God of All of your life, the One and Only God.  And then not leaning on your own understanding, but trusting Him to lead you and guide you into all Truth, just as Jesus has said the Holy Spirit would do for those who belong to Him!

Live the Connected Life!
Pastor Nancy

No comments: