Thursday, October 6, 2011

Abiding Fruit - Secret to Fruit-Filled Living

Week 1 of the Abiding Fruit Bible study had us read Galatians 5:16-26

16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
   19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
   22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
   24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

My questions that came from this passage were:
1. How can I produce the kind of fruit that is everlasting every day?
2. How can I keep my flesh nailed to the cross and resist it every day?
3. And if I fail, how do I become stronger?

I prayed these 3 questions to God and all day long God was feeding into me the answers...

First, I received an e-mail, no different than any other day as it's a subscription e-mail, but it ANSWERED one of my questions, here is what the e-mail said...

My Princess,

I am the vine – your spiritual lifeline – and you are My beautiful branch that produces fruit for all to taste.  I am in you and with you so that you flourish.  We are eternally connected.

You will never feel alone or abandoned as long as you stay connected to Me.  Wherever you are I am there, ready to give you whatever you need for that moment in time.  I delight in flowing through you, My precious one.  I will never disconnect our relationship even if you try to run from Me.  My loving arms are always open to welcome you home.

Always remember that nothing you do or say will ever change My love for you.  So stay close to the Vine, My Love.

Your King, the Vine

“Yes, I am the vine; and you are the branches. 
Those who remain in Me, and I in them,
will produce much fruit. 
For apart from Me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5

So, how can I produce ever lasting fruit every day... because I AM ETERNALLY CONNECTED TO HIM through the vine!!!

Then God started pouring other things into me...
1. Resisting comes through a daily prayer walk and spending time with Him.  God started showing me that if I want to keep my flesh at bay, then I need to talk with him daily about EVERYthing.  STOP running to friends, family, and even my husband, that I needed to run to Him and ONLY Him - for He has promised me that if I ask any request, He will grant it to me.

2. The more I persevere in a daily prayer walk of spending time with My Father, He will give me the strength to stay on the right path.  And if I fail, He has promised to pick me up and carry me.

Then I decided to look up why Paul wrote this letter to Galatia and discovered this:
False teachers, called Judaizers, were attacking the Christians of Galatia.  They were insisting these Gentile Christians must be circumcised and follow the law of Moses to be saved.  Faith alone in Jesus was not enough to save the Gentile Christians.  They must add their own works of the law to be saved.  This false teaching of the Judaizers threatened the true gospel of salvation and endangered the faith and salvation of the Gentile Christians in Galatia.  Paul wrote the letter to clarify and uphold the true gospel that we are justified by grace through faith alone in Jesus without the works of the law and to prevent the Christians in Galatia from losing their faith and salvation.

Isn't amazing how it is NO different today??? We still have churches and people chastising within the Christian church about the same things -- "you can't do this or you can't do that or you shouldn't say that" -- and yet, all we do when we do that is demean the Christian faith!!! What an eye opener.  It truly is about "faith" and "abiding", which will lead to next weeks study...

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