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Posted By Nan

John 15:1-8
These verses contain the famous “vine” teaching. This is more foundational teaching. These verses give people the picture of a vine being pruned to get maximum fruit production and health. The vine is Jesus and we are the branches. He expects us to remain connected to Him, the vine. He will prune us so that we can bear more fruit. If we remove ourselves from Jesus and try to do it ourselves, we will be like a branch cut off a vine that withers and dies and never produces fruit. These verses are not intended to be a push to go to church. The vine is Jesus, not the church. His words are intended to remind us that no matter where we may worship our first priority is to have a personal relationship with Jesus or we will wither and die. Going to church does not give you that relationship. Only you can achieve that on your own. That does not mean you should not belong to a church, but if your church membership is getting in the way of your personal relationship with Jesus then you need to re-evaluate your church membership. All the praise and worship songs and avid listening of sermons do not replace a personal relationship with Jesus. You do not know how to do that? Not a problem, just ask Jesus for help because if you ask in His name, He will answer and do as you ask (John 14:14).

 
Posted By Nan

John 14:22-31
Following from Jesus’ teaching about the Holy Spirit, Judas (not Iscariot) asked Jesus why He was going to show himself to the believers and not the world. Jesus answer was that those who love Jesus will obey His teaching, so that God loves them and ‘we’ (Jesus and God through the Holy Spirit) will come to live with them. Those who do not love Jesus will not obey so that ‘we’ will not come to live with them. In other words, if we love God He will be with us, but if we do not, then how can He be with us?
I wonder if the disciples sat wishing they had something to take notes on? I wonder if they worried they would forget something important? Because Jesus’ next words were to reassure them that He would send the Holy Spirit to teach them and remind them of Jesus teaching. Whew, we won’t miss anything!
In closing, Jesus gave them Peace (not as the world gives, but lasting and abiding peace) and asked them not to be troubled or afraid. They were going to need to cling on to that reassurance, especially in the days to come. Jesus closed by reminding them He was about to leave because satan was coming. He reminded them He was submitting to satan’s action, not because satan was more powerful but because Jesus wanted the world to learn He loved God and did exactly as He commanded.
The big message here for us is that of Deuteronomy 6:5 which tells us to love the Lord our God with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind. In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus tells his listeners that this is the greatest commandment and is followed by the commandment that is like it and states we must love our neighbour as ourself. These are the commandments that all the Law and the Prophets are built on. So our first priority as Christians is to Love God, and because we love God, we must love Jesus who God expects us to love. 

As was spoken in these verses, God will love us because we love and obey Jesus. If you do not obey this basic commandment, you are not living a God pleasing life.

 
Posted By Nan

John 14:15-21
In these verses, Jesus continues His teaching of the disciples. He has already taught that
• He is the only way to God
• If we know Jesus we know God
• When we have faith in Jesus we will be able to do what He has done
• What we ask in Jesus’ name He will do.
Now in these verses He teaches that if we love Jesus we will obey what He commands.
This is because when we truly love Jesus we desire to do His will. It is when we let our love for ourselves become greater that we disobey.
Following on from this teaching, Jesus made a wonderful promise. Up to this time people had struggled to follow God under their own power. Only the occasional person, in particular the prophets, were given the Holy Spirit. Now Jesus promised to help all who loved Him. He was going to ask God, who would send the Holy Spirit to all believers. He warned that the world will not acknowledge or believe in the Holy Spirit. Only those to whom the Holy Spirit is given can know and accept Him. He will be with and in us. While Jesus was on earth, the disciples had Him to guide them and teach them. Now He is reassuring them that He will not leave them without support. The world will not see Jesus, but those who believe will.
Jesus is in God, we are in Him and He is in us.
This is a powerful foundational statement and one people frequently forget. This is how we as sheep know our shepherd and hear and respond to His voice. If we do not understand and accept this fundamental truth then we are vulnerable to those who desire to lead us astray, even if those people are “trusted” pastors teaching unsound doctrine.
Never forget Jesus intended us to relate to Him first. By loving Him we open ourselves up to God’s love, because God loves those who love Jesus. Make Jesus your priority over your doctrine, your religious traditions and any church you may attend.

 
Posted By Nan

As you are aware, I have not posted a blog this weekend. this is due to a combination of family commitments and a continuing chest infection. I am sorry to have not posted anything. My Father in heaven is teaching me to stop sometimes to look after myself, which I am not very good at doing.

One thought I would like to leave you with is the importance of developing a personal relationship with God. Please do not rely on a church, a daily devotional, inspirational speakers, your parents, friends or spouse, to be your go-between with God. If you do that you are extremely vulnerable to those who wish to lead you astray with false doctrine.

I saw a terrible story on the television this evening about a family that became caught up in a cult. They did not see it coming, and when it came, despite misgivings, they did not walk away because they didn't have the confidence to be sure the cult leader was lying when she told them they would lose their salvation if they did not obey her. It was horrifying how easily these people fell for that. If they had enjoyed a personal relationship with God, involving reading their Bible daily and praying and being with God, they would never have fallen for this woman's lies. Nobody can tell me I am going to lose my salvation because I know what Jesus has promised and I have a personal relationship with our wonderful Triune God and know that I am saved. Nothing can shake that.

So be careful to put your relationship with God ahead of everything else. If someone tells you there are things you have to do to be saved, study the Bible and seek God. It is more than likely you will discover they are not speaking the word of God.

 

 
Posted By Nan

John 14:7-14
When I write this blog, my sole aim is to write God’s message for whoever He has in mind to read it. Sometimes I feel really inspired by the Holy Spirit and the words pour out of my mind, other times I feel the message is less inspiring. But always my aim is to give God’s message. When I read this passage and Jesus’ words I am can see that His aim was to give God’s message to the people. In writing this blog I am merely following His example. This was the last opportunity Jesus had to speak to His disciples before He faced the cross. He had so much to teach them. One of these things was that they were to trust that knowing Him meant they knew the Father. He stressed that His words were God’s words and that it was God living in Him who gave Him the ability to do His work. He reminded them not to forget the miracles Jesus had performed. In a way he was asking them to hold on and keep the faith, knowing that a time would come when the Holy Spirit would descend on these men and empower them to continue Jesus’s work in this world. Anyone who has faith in Jesus will do what He is doing. In my moments of feeling I am just not good enough to write a blog anyone would be interested in reading, I am drawn to verse 12. Anyone who has faith in Jesus will do what He is doing. According to Jesus, we will do even better. Because He is in Heaven with God He will do whatever we ask in His name in order to bring glory to God. That is what I hold on to when writing this blog and performing all the other tasks assigned to me in this world. If I hold on to my faith in Jesus, ask Him for help, and continue to do His will, trusting in His assistance, then I can achieve great things. For anyone reading this who feels not equal to that task, hold on to faith in Jesus. He tells the truth, and you can and will do great things in His name. You can be certain of that.

 


 
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Nan
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