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Showing posts with label divine love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label divine love. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

"I Am the Vine; You are the Branches"

October 6, 2020 - With Guest, Dr. Anthony Silvestro - LISTEN HERE

John 15:4-7 

Abide in me, and I will abide in you. Just as the branch cannot produce fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 

I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who abides in me while I abide in him produces much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Unless a person abides in me, he is thrown away like a pruned branch and dries up. People gather such branches, throw them into a fire, and they are burned up. "If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you can ask for anything you want, and you'll receive it.

From Dr. Silvestro: 
We need the proper context of the passages whenever we read the Bible. In the previous chapter, John 14:1-5, Jesus was speaking to the Apostles:

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

John 14:6 provides the answer.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

That puts Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah Witness, Atheism, Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox into context: They are false religions because they do not have the exclusivity of Christ.

In the rest of Chapter 14, Jesus is explaining what the Apostles are to do when he leaves.

As we look into the passage for today…John 15 starts with two words that are often overlooked:  I AM - “I am the true vine...”
 

Jesus is the vine; The Father is the vinedresser. Picture a grapevine here…  Jesus is grapevine. A vinedresser is a person who prunes, trains, and cultivates vines. He takes care of vines to maximize the fruit produced by them.  Get the greatest yield. The vinedresser then is responsible for deciding what each branch is doing based on its fruit…

There are two types of branches that represent: the two types of disciples who outwardly professing attachment to Jesus:

1. the genuine branches, Born- again believers that abide in Him, and
2. the false branches (false converts, people who claim Christ but are not born-again)

Verse 4-6:  
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

True Branches can only bear fruit when attached to the Vine. Being attached to Christ means having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which generates all good works in us, yet we are responsible for carrying out those good works.

As believers, we are called to do good works.  However, those works do not add to salvation.  Good works are the result of being born-again; by Grace, we are saved. Our works do not cause us to be saved, nor do good works keep us saved. 
Yet, Jesus says that we can only bear fruit, do good works if we are truly attached to Him.

In verse 2- The Father takes every branch that bears fruit and prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. Pruning involves cutting a live branch in a certain way to make the branch more “productive.”

The term for this is sanctification – all believers are constantly being pruned – so we can continue to be transformed more and more into the image of Christ.

This brings verse John 14:6 into context: 
"If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned."

Unlike the true branches that get pruned for more production of fruit, the vine- dresser cuts off the dry, dead branches...The vinedresser (the Father) takes the unregenerate false branches away from their phony attachment to the vine, and they are put in the waste for burning

The reference here is not, as some imagine, to true Christians losing their salvation, as this cannot happen to people who are truly saved.  This is regarding “false converts” as spoken earlier.

Here's one example:
·       True branches – Most of the apostles (Who were active in ministry)
·       False Branch – Judas Iscariot

Outwardly, Judas was indistinguishable from the other eleven apostles, yet was a false convert who showed himself to be a traitor of Jesus. The ultimate fate that awaits the false branches is to be cast … into the fire and … burned.

On their judgment day, false converts will protest, 
“Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” (Matt. 7:22)

Instead of “Well done, good and faithful servant,” they will hear the scariest reply from the Lord, recorded in the very next verse, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (v. 23).


+++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Anthony R. Silvestro, Jr.
creationrevival@gmail.com 
www.strivingforeternity.org  

Please contact me if you would like me to speak at your church or event.


Photo credit: Photo 110508967 © Markara77 | Dreamstime.com

 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

We love Him, because He first loved us

September 24, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

1 John 4:10-11,19

This is Love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us
 and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love one another...We love Him, because He first loved us.


Of all the world’s languages, English may be the most lacking when it comes to the word, love. Sanskrit has 96 words for love; ancient Persian has 80, There are 11 words for ‘love’ in Arabic, with each conveying a different stage in a relationship or the falling in love process. The Greek language has three words for love. English has only one.

We say, “I love you” the same way and with the same word as saying, “I love pizza” or “I love my dog” or “I love to travel.”

Researchers have found the word ‘love’ is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible, but the exact number of times varies by version. For example, the King James Version has “love” mentioned 310 ties but the new International Version, love is mentioned 551 times.

I suspect that is because there are four different types of love discussed in the Bible and only one word for the English translation:

·      Storge – the feeling of familiarity and love towards family

·      Philia – the love felt in the bonds between friends

·      Eros – the strong romantic feeling for your spouse.

·      Agape – the unconditional devotion for one supreme power, God.

The Agape love from God is His greatest comes from the heart of God. God’s love isn’t sentimental; it’s part of His character; it is the outpouring of who He is. 

Today’s Prayer:
Dear Lord, we can only imagine with the smallest part of our being the magnitude of the Love You have for us. We compare Your love, to Eros love for our spouse and our kids; it doesn’t have a speck of comparison. We are so blessed to be Your chosen ones, called by Your name. Help us to feel Your divine love, if only a glimpse of it. We love You, Lord in the only ways that we know how.... accept our words, our prayers, and our gratitude. May Thy Will be done in our lives. In Jesus’s precious name. Amen.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Be Kind to One Another

September 23, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Colossians 3:12-14

Therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant of one another and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, you must also forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which ties everything together in perfect unity.

I really encourage you to review the verses we’ve talked about this week on the topic of love. 

· 1 John 4:10-11– We love Him because He first loved us.

· 1 Peter 4: 7-8 – Divine love covers a multitude of sins

These verses from Colossians are a beautiful reminder of how Christians should interact - not only with each other but with every person we encounter. If we never read any other verses in the Bible, and we simply followed this “recipe”, we would change the world. 

As you give, you receive. If you are kind, others are kind to you. If you are hostile, it comes back to you like a boomerang. 

Today’s Prayer
Dear Lord, we are so grateful that Your Word gives clear instruction to us every day. The more we read, the more time we commune with You, the more we grow not only in the Spirit, but grow to be more like You. Help us to know Your love, and help us to show that we belong to You through our thoughts, our words and our deeds. We praise and worship You, Lord. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

C