John 15:1-8, 16 “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener.ï»¿ He takes awayï»¿ï»¿ every branch that does not bear fruit in me. Heï»¿ï»¿ prunesï»¿ï»¿ every branch that bearsï»¿ï»¿ fruit so that it will bear more fruit. You are clean alreadyï»¿ï»¿ because of the word that I have spoken to you. Remainï»¿ï»¿ in me, and I will remain in you.ï»¿ Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself,ï»¿ï»¿ unless it remains inï»¿ï»¿ the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remainsï»¿ï»¿ in me â€“ and I in him â€“ bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplishï»¿ï»¿ nothing. If anyone does not remainï»¿ï»¿ in me, he is thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire,ï»¿ï»¿ and are burned up.ï»¿ If you remain in me and my words remainï»¿ï»¿ in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you.ï»¿ My Father is honoredï»¿ï»¿ by this, thatï»¿ï»¿ you bearï»¿ï»¿ much fruit and show that you areï»¿ï»¿ my disciples.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains,ï»¿ so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
I hate to be chastened or disciplined. As do most people. But there are times when it is best to be set straight, put back on the right path, etc.
Hebrews 12:5-6 And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons? “My son, do not scorn the Lord’s discipline or give up when he corrects you. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.”ï»¿
The new philosophy in most churches today is that God is love, only love, nothing else. Any negative things happen to you, it is from Satan. Bunk. As a believer, Satan cannot touch us without God’s permission. Satan gets way too much credit. Sure, Satan will attack at your weak points if God allows it for His purposes. But that’s the end of that.
No, the hard part is when God needs to do a little housecleaning, a little “pruning”. I just have to remember that He will never tempt me (only Satan does that) and that He will never put more on me than I can bare. And, as Blackaby says:
The discipline of God brings life. The activity of Satan brings death.
Pretty easy to discern the difference.
Another thing that Blackaby brought up today was to point out more flaws in Biblical characters and the tendency we have to excuse our own behavior because God blessed them in the end. I see this pattern over and over and in fact used it myself once during a very dark time in our marriage.
Were it not for an old preacher telling me to grow up, I might have kept on using it and ruined my marriage forever. Thanks be to God for that old man and his willingness to stand in the gap for me.