Monday, August 29, 2016

Abide In Me ~

Hello friends!
In the early part of the spring my husband and I
took some time to really clean out the dead branches 
of the pussy willows and a few pine trees in our beautiful creek
nestled right next to our home.
This was a task that I had been wanting to accomplish for years,
but if you do not attend to it early in the spring before the run off
then the creek begins to rush with the high waters and you just as well wait another year.
Once the run off begins it becomes difficult in trying to clean out the branches.
Our spring was long, cold and snowy making the task even more dreadful,
but the results that we have seen throughout the summer have been worth it all.

I have been studying the book of John in my morning time with the Lord,
and when I came to chapter 15:1-11 where it speaks of
Jesus as the True Vine, I couldn't help but think of the many
branches that we purged from the creek and hauled away
leaving room for new growth and the bearing of more fruit to take place,
the fruit being fresh new fuzzy pussy willows.
While working away on those cold, wet snowy days
my mind was busy thinking of the pruning process
 that sometimes takes place in the believers life. 
The Heavenly Father is never nearer to us than when He is pruning us.
 Sometimes He cuts away the dead wood that might cause trouble; 
but often He cuts off the living tissue that may be robbing us of spiritual vigor.
Some of the branches we had to cut off were living
and it hurt me to think that we were taking what was good;
but I was reminded that pruning does not simply mean
spiritual surgery that removes what is bad.
It can also mean cutting away the good and the better 
so that we might enjoy the best.
Yes, pruning hurts, but it also helps. We may not enjoy it, but we need it.

During the life of Jesus on earth, the word He used when speaking
of the relations of the disciples to Himself was; "Follow Me."
When about to leave for heaven, He gave them a new word, 
in which their more intimate and spiritual union with Himself
in glory should be expressed. 
That chosen word was: "Abide in Me."
~ Andrew Murray ~ 
It needs time to grow into Jesus the Vine; do not expect
to abide in Him unless you will give Him that time...
Come, my brethren, and let us day by day set ourselves
at His feet, and meditate on this word of His, with an 
eye fixed on Him alone. 
Let us set ourselves in quiet trust
before Him, waiting to hear His holy voice~the still
small voice that is mightier than the storm that rends the
rocks~breathing its quickening spirit within us, as He
speaks: "Abide in Me."
~ Andrew Murray ~

I appreciated the words of Andrew Murray;
"Come, my brethren, and let us day by day set ourselves
at His feet, and meditate on this word of His, with an 
eye fixed on Him alone."
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him,
If ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed."
(John 8:31)
This verse refers to the state of continuing to live
by the Word of God. 
"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself
also to walk, even as he walked."
(1 John2:6)
We are to be imitators of Christ, walking in the Light. 
Jesus wants His followers to abide in Him,
to dwell, to remain, to stay and to be obedient. 
"Abiding, (or remaining) in Christ" indicates
an intimate spiritual relationship with Christ on the part of the believer.
So day by day we need to set ourselves at the feet of Jesus,
read His Word, and wait in quiet trust
before Him in order to be made more and more like Him.
True believers obey the Lord's command ~ 
Jesus set the model by His perfect obedience to the Father,
which we are to use as the pattern for our obedience to Him.
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) 
True believers submit to His Word ~
"He that hath my commandments , and keepeth them,
he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall
be loved of my Father, and I will love him,
and will manifest myself to him." 
(John 14:21)
Because of the believers commitment to God's Word, 
they are devoted to His will, thus their prayers are fruitful,
which puts God's glory on display as He hears and answers.
"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do,
that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it."
(John 14:13-14)
Believers who are obedient to the Father's commandments
will experience joy, just as Jesus maintained that His obedience
to the Father was the basis of His joy.
"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy
might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
There is only one relationship that matters, and that is
your relationship to a personal Redeemer and Lord.
Let everything else go, but maintain that at all costs,
and God will fulfill His purpose through your life.
~ Oswald Chambers ~
How very true this is!


Precious Heavenly Father,
we know that as the knot of the branch abides in the vine,
and the sap of the vine abides in the branch,
there is a constant communication between them.
Draw us ever so close to Thy precious side,
as we faithfully abide in Thee.

Be Fruitful!
~ Debbie ~


Laura Lane said...

Beautifully written. Be blessed!
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Jeno J said...

Great work done and well written post, thanks for sharing.

Kelly-Anne said...

How beautiful your words were to me, dear Debbie... It was as if you wrote this post specifically to speak to my heart and I am so grateful you did... The LORD has indeed been teaching me much about simply abiding in Him and how important the pruning process is in the Believer's life. I realise that He doesn't merely wish me to be a good Christian, He wants me to be His...completely and utterly HIS! I pray that He will continue to draw each of us nearer to His precious heart and to clip away the dead branches from our lives...yes, even the branches that still seem ''good'' in our eyes!
Oh, thank you for this lovely reminder, dear Debbie...
Blessings and love to you and many thanks for allowing Jesus to speak through you!

Patti Gardner said...

Shortly after I became a Christian (in 1993), I bought something at the Christian bookstore. When I got home and unpacked my bag, there was a little Scripture card in there---something the clerk had put in along with the receipt.

It was John 15:5: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

I had been asking God to give me a life verse, and the unexpected presence of that Scripture passage in my bag was how God answered that prayer.

John 15:5 has become my life verse (even now). I actually love that whole passage.

Thank you for sharing these wise words.


Anne Payne said...

Oh, sweet Debbie, How my heart is moved by your words and those of saints of old! My life is being desperately pruned at this time and it hurts but I am abiding in my Lord and Savior, trusting that His will for my life is best. Love to you, my friend. Hope we can chat soon.

Melanie said...

Just beautiful, Debbie. I think I have been going through the pruning process and it has not been fun but my Lord knows what He is doing. You write so beautifully to express what is on your heart. Have a blessed day.

Camille said...

What a blessing it is to be stirred up in our hearts through the *everyday* things of life to think of those eternal truths the Lord is teaching us each step of the way. I love how the seemingly *mundane* tasks can take on a new meaning with a little pondering. May the Lord ever draw us nearer as we seek to follow Him. How good and gracious He is! Big Hugs, Camille

living from glory to glory said...

I can see you now in that cold early spring working along side your husband and praying and seeing even in all our work here He is pruning us! And as you stated even some of the living stuff must be removed as it is either in the wrong place or should not be growing there at all!
I appreciate these words to apply these scriptures to our own lives!
May I always desire to ABIDE...
Much Love, Roxy

Sylvia said...

These words touched my heart, Debbie. The most peaceful time of my day is in the morning when I pray, read, and listen to God's word. Thanks for sharing this with us today.
Take care,

Cheryl said...

Thank you for this encouraging post, sweet friend! I loved those quotes by Andrew Murray and Oswald Chambers, too. May the dear Lord bless you abundantly!

Pom Pom said...

So good, Debbie. Today I was having coffee with a long time friend and I asked her what she thinks about Jesus. She said that she thought he was a good man. I said, "But if He's just a good man do you not believe what He said. Do you think He was lying?" She didn't want to talk about our King of kings and Lord of lords. I love her very much and I hope that she might find it alluring to read God's Word. We'll see.

Mindy Whipple said...

Cutting away even the good and better so that we can have the best - we don't often look at it that way do we? Great insights Debbie.

Debby Ray said...

...and oh, how I need to have that dead wood cut away more often than I'd like to admit! So much truth in this post, Debbie. Thanks for sharing your beautifully written words today. Hugs!

Karen said...

Wonderful thoughts! I just finished reading a biography of Chuck Colson and how he had repented and given his life to the Lord, but God let him suffer consequences in order to prune him from his pride and self sufficiency. We have such a good Daddy-God!!

Roosterhead Designs said...

Debbie you are so encouraging! : )
Thank you for such a beautiful post. Sounds like it
was quite timely for some of your readers as well.
I love that!
It IS hard to see 'good' vines being pruned; but as you
said it so well, it is to make room for better growth -
Let's put our faith in Him to do the right thing in our lives~
Bless you, Karen O

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Beautiful post with so much truth and inspiration. Thank you for a fresh look at those important scriptures.

Alex said...

Reading the comments, it seems you have really touched peoples' hearts with this thoughtful post, Debbie ~ mine very much included! It is not easy to teach/ encourage obedience, even less easy is it to carry out (I find!)
Thank you for sharing the beautiful allegory of the True Vine.

NanaNor's said...

Powerful post Debbie. Your photos are stunning as well; great reminder for all of us!

Ginny said...

Hello Debbie, I wonder if God is trying to prune something from my life? It seems like these last few months, I have been in a real slump with my prayer life, and experiencing the feelings of discontent, uneasiness, and days of I guess it is just get up and go. I still have to meet with my spiritual director, however, maybe you can shed a little light on things. I really loved this particular post, as you truly touched my heart and soul. ginny

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

You always amaze and inspire me, Debbie, of how you find everyday things or in this case, tasks,,and can compare them to our spiritual growth. Pruning is important to trees, shrubs, and plants and yes, I can see how it would apply to us, as well. I hope that God will prune me so that I can become the best version of myself. Love and blessings to you, sweet friend!

Stephanie said...

Beautiful post, mom :) I so enjoyed the Scripture and photos and as I read the words you shared I was reminded of the pruning process of an olive tree. One must cut the branches off one tree and plant them by another tree so that they begin to grow together in order to produce olives. Sometimes it's painful to be pruned, but the Lord only wants what is best for us and to be growing in and through Him.

Thanks for such a wonderful post. And may I say your previous post was just as wonderful :)

Now it's time to get some things done... Love you!

SpicingUpIdaho said...

Dear Debbie, such a beautiful thought and life experience that you have shared! I often think myself, many times in the garden, how hard it is to take something - carrots for example - and pull out the little ones that are crowding each other, in order that the healthier carrot will grow and produce a larger carrot than the ones I just pulled would. And you are so right, pruning is not an easy thing to do, yet we must look ahead to the time when that pruning pays off... which is now, for me, harvest time... as I enjoy large juicy sweet carrots!

I enjoyed this quote of yours and scripture: "True believers obey the Lord's command ~ Jesus set the model by His perfect obedience to the Father,which we are to use as the pattern for our obedience to Him.
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)

Obeying is another one of those things that can be hard to do, but the fruits of our labors in being obedient can produce so much more than if we resist and don't allow the pruning in our lives, and if we aren't obedient.

Thank you dear Debbie for these delightful thoughts today... I appreciate you and your walk with the Lord so very much! Hugs to you today!

Anonymous said...

Abiding in HIM completely, thoroughly.... seeing growth in us, knowing that it was HIS pruning that caused new life to begin... beautiful, beautiful post dear lady! thank you :0) mari

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Pruning is such a difficult thing, both to do..and to have done to ourselves...but as you said, so necessary for healthier growth. We have a lot of vines growing around our home...some good and some not so good. The wild grape vines tend to take over and choke out the other pretty vines that have lovely flowers...but the wild grapes did make excellent jelly this year! However...they must be pruned before next year or they will take over the world. Sometimes even good things in excess can be a bad thing. Pruning is God's way of making us stronger and better! Thank you for this reminder. Loved the pictures and verses.

CherylQuilts said...

Dear Debbie, what a beautiful post. I love how God gave you the wonderful example of how you and your husband had to prune away both the dead and live portions of the branches. It's much that way with our poinsettias that grow here in South Florida. Walt has to prune so deeply for the poinsettia to flourish, and he has to do it once again before it comes to its full bloom (as it turns red) in December. Yes, it's just like that in our lives, and I praise God for how He continues to work in my life. Thank you for such a beautiful and enriching post, and I love the quotes from Andrew Murray, one of my favorite authors and someone who has written much about prayer. I praise God that He has given you these words and that you've shared these truths with us. May we all continue to abide in Him...each and every day. Much love, precious friend!

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