Staying Connected to the Vine

Connected to the Vine

There have been many times in my life where I felt off-balanced and not centered. During these times, I have made it a practice to take some time for myself, away from the daily responsibilities of life to just think and talk to God.

As a Christian, it is important to stay connected to the vine. The Bible says in John 15:1-5:

 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

As we see, it is crucial that we stay connected to the vine. It is in this connection that we continue to be nourished. We continue to be stable and centered, if you will, only as we continue our relationship to the source. Once we remove ourselves from that source, our nourishment ceases.

Just like in our natural bodies, we can only go without eating for so long before we require food and nourishment.

Stay connected to the vine to continue to bear good fruit!

 

Walk Your Talk!

keep-calm-and-walk-the-talk

Every so often, my husband will mute the volume on a show we are watching to see if we can figure out the story line based solely on the actions of the actors. It’s interesting when we do this because it causes us to pay more attention to what is being done rather than rely on what the people are saying. The Bible has many passages concerning our conduct as Christians and what type of behavior should be a part of our daily Christian life.

The Bible says in Matthew 7: 16-20:
“16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

You see, more than what we say, God looks at the “fruit” we bear. The earlier passage states that a healthy tree CANNOT bear bad fruit. A tree that is healthy can only bear healthy fruit! Likewise, it is important for us to make sure that what we say out of our mouths, coincides with our actions.

The Bible says in Luke 6:45:
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Make sure that what you say about your Christian walk, is the same as how you act out your walk on a daily basis.

Faith!

God's Plans

As Christians, faith is not something we pull out of our hats when things are not going well. Faith should be the very thing that keeps our resolve in the good times and bad.

FAITH IS NOT AN OPTION, IT’S A REQUIREMENT!

The Bible declares the just shall live by faith. Get comfortable living with the substance of things we hope for and the evidence of things not yet manifested in our natural realm.

God says in Jeremiah 29:11-13, “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me.”

You see, our faith unleashes the plans that God has for us. He has already told us that His plans for us are filled with hope for our future! We can rest assured that whatever we are experiencing right now, have faith that God’s got our back and it will ALL WORK TOGETHER FOR OUR GOOD, to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing, hearing and hearing . . . . . the word of God!

Be encouraged today!

~Selah

 

Nothing Wasted

Trash Can

Recently, I was reflecting on the scripture found in John 9:1-12. Jesus and his disciples were walking along a road when they came upon a man who was blind from birth. The disciples asked Jesus if the man had sinned or his parents had sinned to cause this type of impairment. Jesus replied, neither this man NOR his parents had sinned. He was blind from birth so that at that moment in time, the works of God might be displayed in him. Jesus then made some mud in the dirt and put in on the man’s eyes. He then directed the man to go and wash the mud from his eyes and afterwards the man was able to see.

This man had suffered with an affliction his entire life, up until this point so that the manifestation of God’s mighty power could be visible to all who did not believe in Jesus at THAT moment in time.

In my current position, I get the opportunity to advise Freshman and Sophomore students who have not declared a major. After mid-term point, I get a huge influx of students who may be failing a class. I offer tutoring information, advise, but mainly I listen to their reasons for not doing well in a particular course or courses. Recently, I met with a number of students who were having a difficult time making the transition from high school to college.

I tell them all the time, “With freedom, comes responsibility.” Most have not found the balance between academics and socialization. Some don’t have good time management skills. Still others stay up late and then miss a lot of their early classes because they “sleep in” due to being tired. A lot of students are dealing with other outside forces that draw their attention away from being able to concentrate on their academics. Some are first-generation college students while others need to work to support themselves during college because they don’t have a support system at home.

I found myself being able to share some of my story with them of my college years. In a lot of cases, I went thru some of the same experiences they are experiencing now. As I was reflecting on this, the thought came to me that God doesn’t waste ANY of our life experiences, Sometimes we feel that life has been so unfair to us. We wonder why we have to go thru some things in our lives. A still small voice whispered to me, “I DON’T WASTE ANYTHING THAT YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED. I USE IT ALL!

Just like the blind man in the scripture, neither he nor his parents did anything wrong. He was born blind for the sole purpose that this man might be a witness of God’s power to others. At the appropriate time, he was given his sight.

This may be hard to digest why God would intentionally allow someone to go thru something like this for no apparent reason. The older I become the more I have come to trust and reverence God’s way. Romans declares that “All things work together for my good. ALL means ALL. The good, the bad, the ugly, the inconvenient; ALL OF IT! I encourage you to trust God’s way and trust God’s timing!

~Selah

 

 

 

How Will They Know We Are Christians?

Christians By Our Love

Recently, my husband and I were having a conversation. Let me start off by saying, I am NOT a part of the “religious establishment!” Most of the time I keep my thoughts to myself because I am sure people would interpret them wrongly. However, something welled up in me this morning and I wanted to share this thought with you.

John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give you that you LOVE ONE ANOTHER. AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, SO ALSO YOU MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!! By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another…”

How simple this passage appears on the surface, but how strong is its message. In this passage, Jesus is commanding us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

He did not say that people would know we are Christians by how many Bible verses we can recite. He did not say that people would know we are Christians by how many revivals we attend. He did not say that people would know we are Christians by how active we are in our local church. He also did not say that people would know we are Christians by how much money we make.

HE SIMPLY SAID THAT PEOPLE WOULD KNOW WE ARE HIS DISCIPLINED ONES BY THE LOVE WE HAVE FOR ONE ANOTHER!!!!!

I Corinthians 13 sums it up so beautifully. It reads;

“1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

AND NOW THESE THREE REMAIN: FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE! Wow! I look around me and I see so many people who call themselves Christians, but are soo locked in their own religious prisons that these Bible passages have become just some Bible verses that they have memorized, much like they learned their ABC’s. My Beloveds, we have got to get back to the basic word of God. He said to love one another, not in word but in deed.

Love requires effort. It requires energy. Love sometimes requires sacrifice. Love requires forgiveness. Love requires humility. Love requires self-awareness, but it also requires selflessness! Love requires trust. Love requires a good report. Love requires patience. Love requires kindness. Love requires unity. Love requires vulnerability. Love requires fearlessness. Love requires much more than we ever thought!

Love requires us to adopt a new paradigm. A new way of thinking and behaving in the world. When we TRULY recognize and begin to walk in the God kind of love, as the body of Christ, we will rise strong and unified. I believe we will begin to see mighty changes in our workplace, our churches, our homes, and most importantly in our lives.

LOVE NEVER FAILS!
~Selah

Copyright 2018 – 2019 Leslie Eaddy-Brooks | All Rights Reserved | Created by Leslie Eaddy-Brooks