Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cutting & Pruning: 2) Abiding

Thanks to those who responded with encouragement and affirmation concerning the devotion on cutting and pruning. I hope it did not discourage any of you from the goals and resolutions you had already set, but challenged each of us to look at the big picture of life.

I always find the list making and goal creating part much easier than the applying part. I can agree in my soul on so many things that my flesh refuses to do. As a people in general, we tend to put more on our carts than we can possibly carry making us drop items off the sides that we have to stop and pick up, loose items off the back that we never notice and forget about and bear so much weight that we slip instead of walk, crawl instead of run, fly instead of soar! This year instead of putting more on our cart let's take Jesus at His word . . . "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is light." Matthew 11:28-30

What does this mean? How do we obtain this rest and take on this easy yoke, yet still be fruitful? Lets look back at John chapter 15. "Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15: 4, 5. Hmm, do you think he wants us to remain in him? "Remain in me" is also translated "abide" and it is used 10 times in verses 4 through 10. So, bearing fruit must be connected to abiding in Christ where we not only bear fruit, but find rest as well.

One of the meanings of this rich word "abide" is to dwell. So, in order to make 2010 a year of cutting and pruning we must dwell in God's Word and spend time in prayer to see what He reveals to each of us that needs cutting or pruning.

Have a blessed week!
Paul LaBathe

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