Sunday, August 12, 2012

DAY 125 - Are You Ready for the Father's Pruning Knife? (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

Today's Reading: John 15: 1-8

**For a simple and good way of Daily Devotion method please click this link: Subject Shifting Devotion.pdf.

Please click this link to read John 15: 1-8

Bible Study

This is an important passage and today we have quite a long message from N.T. Wright explaining to us the deep meaning of this passage. He says:
Within Jewish tradition, the vine was a picture of Israel. God brought a vine out of Egypt, and planted it in the promised land (Psalm 80: 8-18). The vineyard of Israel, said Isaiah in chapter 5, has borne wild grapes instead of proper ones. Now Jesus is saying that he is the 'true vine'. This can only mean that he is , in himself, the true israel.
On the one hand, it is a way of speaking of himself as israel-in-person and of his followers as members of God's true people because they belong to him. On the other hand, it is a way of speaking of the intimate relationship with him that they are to enjoy, and to cultivate. Branches that decide to 'go it alone', to try living without the life of the vine, soon discover their mistake. They wither and die, and are good for nothing but the fire (v. 6). But branches that remain in the vine, and submit to the pruner's knife when necessary, live and bear fruit.
The urgent question, then, is this. How do we 'remain' in him? We must remain in the community that knows and loves him and celebrates him as its Lord. There is no such thing as a solitary Christian. We can't 'go it alone'. But we must also remain as people of prayer and worship in our own intimate, private lives. We must make sure to be in touch, in tune, with Jesus, knowing him and being known by him. And, though it always hurts, we must be ready for the father's pruning knife. God is glorified, and so will we be, by bearing good quality fruit, and lots of it.

So, that's from N.T. Wright, what have you got?

Have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe"

Spiritual Journal

What I heard from Jesus today is: Are you ready for the Father's pruning knife?

What is your answer to the question above? Today is a day of having a spiritual check-up for you. You need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your present spiritual status. Are you bearing fruit? Any fruit? More fruit? Or, much fruit?

Do you feel that the Father is using His pruning knife giving you a pruning so that you can have more fruit and much fruit? How do you respond to His pruning?

Dear Lord Jesus,
Help us to be ready for the Father's pruning knife so that we can be more fruitful and much fruitful. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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Chinese praise song - 我要向山舉目(詩篇121) I Will Lift Up My Eyes to The Hills

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