Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stay "Connected"

Think of yourself right now, wherever you are; sitting in a chair at a desk or at the kitchen table, curled up on the sofa, or cozied up in the bed. Yeah, let's sneak away for a few minutes of "alone time", that mini vacation amidst the holiday hustle and bustle. Some time to spend with our blogging pals, searching the latest Christmas decor and tasty recipes. Ahhh computer, "take me away"!


So since we are all on the computer right now let's just use this analogy.



Having a  computer, we know that it's useless unless it's "plugged in". We can look at the computer screen, sit there all day waiting for it to "turn on", but unless the little wires are connected to the electrical outlet, we don't get anything. Oh, you say, "Well, I have a laptop and I don't need to be "connected"." True, you may not need the connection for the moment, but I can guarantee that at some point in the near future your battery will run out and you will be in the same place as the rest of us. Nothing showing up on the screen but a blank space and a faint glimmer of your own reflection.

In our physical daily life we can be running around, taking care of all our duties, have a fabulous social life, and kids that are "bumper sticker" worthy. We may cook the best and most tasty recipes that draw oohhhhs and aaahhhhhs from our families, show up in the new slinky nightwear, and have a floor that you could eat a 5 course meal off of, but what if you're just running on "batteries" and you're not really "plugged in"?

Pretty soon you will be running down, and at the most inconvenient of times you will be without power; "blank". You will be staring at a black hole in the middle of life.

The Vine and The Branches, John 15



Version: NAS

John 15:1-7

1. "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2. "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every [branch] that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. 3. "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither [can] you, unless you abide in Me. 5. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you."


Jesus talks about us abiding in Him.


Let's look up the real meaning of "abide".


to live with, to act in accordance with, to endure, permanent, unchanging, constant, steadfast, everlasting, fixed, firm, immutable.


So when I read the verse where it says we are to "abide" in Him, and that then He will "abide" in us. I think it means more than just a casual relationship. Sounds to me like Jesus is asking us to "move in" with Him, be more than just a casual friend. We can even take the thought of "marrying" Jesus. He's looking for a permanent, constant, exclusive relationship with Him. After all, He does call His Church, the "Bride of Christ".
Joyce Meyer has often said, "We need to do more than just "date" Jesus, we need to be "married" to Him. We need that kind of lasting, permanent, official, steadfast kind of relationship.


Jesus is our power source and without being "plugged in" to Him we are not going to be running at our optimum speed, or for very long. It doesn't take long for our "batteries" to run out when we're "using it up' with the busy-ness of life. 


Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Without being "connected" to the vine, our power source, it wouldn't be long before we are losing our nourishment, then over time we start to wither. If there was any fruit there it soon becomes dried up..."raisins", shriveled and small. Then before you know it, due to lack of flow from the Holy Spirit, we start to break apart from the vine. Then we're spiritually dead. Next?...well, you have read the rest.


Especially this time of year, it's easy to let the stress of all the Holiday Season, from Thanksgiving to New Years, with Christmas in between, get us down and zap our strength. It's easy to let expectations, lack of time, financial burdens, and family "drama" get the better of us. In this busy time, lets stay connected to the source of our strength and power. Plug in to Jesus. Let's keep that connection for a daily time of prayer and "intimacy". A time to study God's Word and keep that communication flowing.

Fruit that is "constant" is the sign of health and vitality in our relationship with God. It's a sign that we are "abiding". Let's "Abide in Him", so that we can be confident in our ability to see those "benefits" we talked about. And along the way we will become more like Him. You know what they say, you start acting like those you hang out with. So let's spend our "alone time", not by ourselves, but connected. Connected to Jesus.


Have a wonderful "week before Christmas".
love,
Debra

16 comments:

  1. Awesome words...
    I needed this today...
    Thank you,
    glenda

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  2. Hi Debra
    This verse is close to my heart because it is the verse that the Lord gave me for the shop. I opened this shop 3 months before the economic drop and let's say I went out on a limb with it. I couldn't see what the Lord had in mind leading me down this path and I thought maybe I wasn't listening close enough to what He wanted or maybe I was doing my own thing again...things were not coming together and I was praying for guidance. The Lord spoke to me about abiding... I was grafted into the kingdom through Jesus Christ and all I have to do is hold on...abide. Weather the shop is a raging success or not doesn't matter as long as I give it to him and abide in Him - hang on to the Vine and it is up to Him to produce the fruit. Whatsoever you do - do it heartily as unto the Lord Col 3:23 - so I stay here to what I committed to and I do the best I am able as unto the Lord. And try not to take it back into my own hands (daily struggle sometimes) and keep abiding or giving it over to Him. The Lord is teaching me daily on Kingdom walking, seeing things as the word says and not what I think I see with my earthly eyes...but that is another Bible study.
    Thank you for listening
    Blessings
    Rebecca

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  3. So much truth in these words. We truly need to be fed by the word of God, have a daily communication with Him and fellowship with his children to give us encouragement or so that we can encourage one another. Life is hard, but He gives us a soft place to land. Thanks Debra for the gentle reminder, Lord knows my heart is prone to wander.

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  4. I'm counting on becoming like the One I'm "hanging around"! Thanks for highlighting this truth.

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  5. Hi Glenda, God knows who needs to hear these scriptures, I'm so blessed each time I hear one of you say this. It makes me know I'm hearing correctly. And to each one of us it can mean something so so different and special.
    Rebecca, I just love hearing about how God lead you to start your store. You are such a blessing to so many people here and in person at your shop. I know people see Jesus in you at the store! I love how you have described "abiding". It surely is daily "as unto the Lord".
    Rebecca S. " A soft place to land". I love that. It's so easy for day to day living to distract us. We are praying for baby Annie, hope she is much better today and off the ventilator.
    And Rebecca, Amen and amen! To be like Him, and for me that's a work in progress!
    Hugs to you all.
    Debra

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  6. Hi Debra. Well I hope you feel blessed again because I'm another one who feels that God sent these words straight to me. You are so right on the mark about being plugged in. I have so much work to do and it's time to do it. I don't know where to start but I am counting on him to show me the way. He never fails us. I still deal with the panic of me that sometimes paralyzes me, the fear of not doing the hard work (changing my situation)to make him proud of me.

    Debra I hope your as feel as blessed as much as I feel blessed to have you and this wonderful bible study in my life.

    Have a blessed and relaxing Sunday. Hugs...Tracy :)

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  7. Thank you so much Debra. Great study! This is such an encouragement to me today.

    Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

    xo,
    Adrienne

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  8. Beautiful write, Debra. AMEN!!!

    Merry Christmas,
    TTFN ~Marydon

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  9. I am definitely staying in the word more since I have been coming to this bible study. I write down every verse from each lesson in my journal and then when I sit down I start right where I left off last. I have to thank you Debra from the bottom of my heart for helping to jump start my relationship with our Lord all over again. I had most certainly became stale. I am much more connected for sure.

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  10. Hi Debra,

    You know what I have found... if you stay plugged in there is never ever a power outage.

    Great lesson.
    Perfect timing and what a great analogy.

    If you read my post and see any discrepancy please email me as I did this one in a rush.
    Lee

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  11. Thank you for this 'mini vacation.' This blog has a dependable cord, with supernatural power that will never disappoint. You are amazing, Debra!

    Have a beautiful, blessed Christmas!

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  12. Hi Gals, I'm so glad that these scriptures are speaking to you. You know, I just set down and let God start writing. I take no credit for these posts. These verses from John 15 are so visual to me, I'd never thought about the computer analogy until the moment that I was writing the post.
    I've said this before and I will keep saying it. God knows what we each need to hear. And He knows how to make it "hit the mark".
    I'm hoping to post tomorrow around noon. Hope you all are having a good week of Christmas preparations!
    love,
    Debra

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  13. Dearest Friends-

    I believe so much that God works through others, and so often my invitation to get 'plugged in' comes unexpectedly.

    That is what happened with this Bible study journey that Debra has invited all to take.

    All it takes is just a little jump start.

    I hope and believe by visiting here, and sincerely seeking the message provided, I have turned my direction again toward what God and His amazing Son can do and not always what Laura can do.

    I know in blog land and the world at large we are surrounded by wonderful Christmas decorations and cooking and all that that entails.

    Could it simply be that we are all celebrating?

    In life sometimes it is that simple paradigm shift- looking at something differently- that makes all of the difference.

    So, while here at my daughter's, as I look at Christmas beauty and bounty all around, I am thinking of it as a celebration of family and love and the blessings God bestows on all of us.

    May I say that as a servant of Jesus, Debra speaks perfectly to my ear. She is also great at slumber parties.

    Anne Marie at NaDa Farm did a recent post on creating a list. Once again , rather than the to do list of ages past, I want to use this as a chance to be more plugged in to God , more intentional at abiding in him.

    What might this look like?
    Worship- corporate and individual
    Prayer- of thanksgiving
    Giving- both known and unknown
    Loving more
    Judging less
    Comforting more
    Seeking less
    Being a better friend

    Love and Christmas Celebration wishes to you -all of my blog land friends.

    Laura

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  14. Hi Debra,

    Thank you for such a lovely blog. I like the "plugged" in part. I can find myself so in tuned with the world at times that it is easy to get out of tune with what is really important. I am hoping 2010 will be the year that I grow closer to God and learn what it is He wants from me. The only way to really do that is to grow closer to him by staying plugged in.

    I wrote about it a little in my last post for New Years. That was my first "stepping out" to my readers about how I feel about my love for God. I think those who have read me for a while could tell that I felt gratitude towards God, but I felt compelled, as I closed my last post for the year, to end it with the words, CHRIST. To let my readers know that He is important to me and He is there for them as well. I even quoted scripture.

    I am not sure how it will go over for the readers. I don't want to lose readership in that they think I am preaching, but rather I would like to either gain, or at least retain readership in that those who don't know Christ may become curious about Him through my own adventures and how I see the world and my gratitude for all that I have goes to God. So my last post is my first stepping off point in doing that. Perhaps I have been doing that all along, but now I feel it is important to let others know that there is a name for the power that gives me all that I have and all that I share: Christ.

    Thank you for having a "safe" place for me to share my thoughts as I work them out for myself and figure out my own path and where it is going to lead me.

    I am glad I am connected to you and your readers. :-)

    Love
    Elizabeth

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  15. Jesus was very clear in what we must do in order to have Him ABIDE in us and we in Him.

    Jesus left this command for us in John 6:53-57:

    53 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (the taken away branch);

    54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

    56 HE WHO EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD ABIDES IN ME, AND I IN HIM.

    57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."

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