Archive for March 19, 2011


The Big Picture – Part 14

How Does Your Garden Grow?

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matt. 11:12.

Yes, seeds have been planted, watered and left to seek the sun. How does your garden grow? God has placed the precious seed of Life, the Word, into your heart. How is it doing? Is it being fruitful and multiplying or is it dormant and unseen, remaining in the earth? God did not plant a seed to take up space in the earth but to subdue the earth and have authority over it. To rise above its humble beginnings and produce a tree with shade and fruitful sustenance, protection and provision for all who are under it.

This is the very call for the sons of God, to become complete, mature like our Seedbearer — the Father. So that when others taste and see our fruit, they taste and see the Father. “… he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” John 14:9.

So, again, whether or not the seed that was planted grows into full maturity has nothing to do with the condition of the seed — the seed is perfect, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” 2 Peter 1:3 — it is the fruit that will tell the story of the soil — your heart — whether it is good or bad.

So it is your responsibility to nurture and care for the seed, giving it water and sonlight and the atmosphere of faith. Keep adding the water of the Word, presenting yourself before God a living sacrifice, believing unto good works so that the seed will become fully mature and produce the righteousness of God in Christ. You must work out what God has worked in.

Now I know that what I am about to say will confuse and concern some of you that want to believe your salvation is entirely dependent on what you think about Christ. And it is, just as surely as the Word of His Redemption has entered your ear and settled in your mind and become Life to you through the knowledge of God by faith.

You see the key is the faith that activates the doing. Having a knowledge that does not produce fruit is like a placing a light under a bushel. It is of no effect and has no virtue to be seen. What good is it? We are told to, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 5:16.
God never needed a light that is not seen, never spoke a word that is was not to be heard, never created a son that is not to be known and seen and heard. We are here for the express and supreme purpose of making manifest — showing forth — the Goodness and Mercy and Love and Peace and Holiness, and, and … all that I AM to the world. That is the fruit of His Spirit in us that is striving to make Him known through us.

Now here is what I want to say that might set you back. We are to bear fruit. We are to work diligently at it, not us, not I but Christ in me, worketh through the seed of the Father, the water of the Word and putting to death of mySelf to remove the outer shell of me and reveal the inner truth of Him in me.

“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matt. 7:17-20.

The Father is the Vinedresser. He will prune every branch that is presented to Him. You must make the presentation by the will of your heart. Seek the Son while He may be found.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” John 15:1-8.

O yes, child of God, rise up to the full stature and measure of Christ so that the Father may be seen and known to the world. Bear fruit. Become the son you were made in Christ to be before the foundationS. of the world. There is much glory in sonship for the son shows forth the glory of the Father and the Father shares his glory with the son.

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” James 5:7.

“And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.” Matt. 21:34.

When God plants the seed of His Word in your heart He is looking for the Son-ripened fruit. How does your garden grow?

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Quote Title Quotation Source
When Things Begin Clicking and Falling into Place I had found this hole in the world: the fact that one must somehow find a way of loving the world without trusting it; somehow one must love the world without being worldly. I found this projecting feature of Christian theology like a sort of hard spike, the dogmatic insistence that God was personal, and had made a world separate from Himself. The spike of dogma fitted exactly into the hole in the world it had evidently been made to go there and then the strange thing began to happen. When once these two parts of the two machines had come together, one after another, all the other parts fitted and fell in with an eerie exactitude. I could hear bolt after bolt over all the machinery falling into its place with a kind of click of relief. Having got one part right, all the other parts were repeating that rectitude, as clock after clock strikes noon. Instinct after instinct was answered by doctrine after doctrine. Or, to vary the metaphor, I was like one who had advanced into a hostile country to take one high fortress. And when that fort had fallen the whole country surrendered and turned solid behind me. The whole land was lit up. as it were, back to the first fields of my childhood. All those blind fancies of boyhood which in the fourth chapter I have tried in vain to trace on the darkness, became suddenly transparent and sane. I was right when I felt that roses were red by some sort of choice: it was the divine choice. I was right when I felt that I would almost rather say that grass was the wrong color than say it must by necessity have been that color: it might verily have been any other. My sense that happiness hung on the crazy thread of a condition did mean something when all was said: it meant the whole doctrine of the Fall. Even those dim and shapeless monsters of notions which I have not been able to describe, much less defend, stepped quietly into their places like colossal caryatides of the creed. The fancy that the cosmos was not vast and void, but small and cozy, had a fulfilled significance now, for anything that is a work of art must be small in the sight of the artist; to God the stars might be only small and dear, like diamonds. And my haunting instinct that somehow good was not merely a tool to be used, but a relic to be guarded, like the goods from Crusoe s ship even that had been the wild whisper of something originally wise, for, according to Christianity, we were indeed the survivors of a wreck, the crew of a golden ship that had gone down before the beginning of the world.
But the important matter was this, that it entirely reversed the reason for optimism. And the instant the reversal was made it felt like the abrupt ease when a bone is put back in the socket. I had often called myself an optimist, to avoid the too evident blasphemy of pessimism. But all the optimism of the age had been false and disheartening for this reason, that it had always been trying to prove that we fit into the world. The Christian optimism is based on the fact that we do not fit into the world. I had tried to be happy by telling myself that man is an animal, like any other which sought its meat from God. But now I really was happy, for I had learnt that man is a monstrosity. I had been right in feeling things as odd, for I myself was at once worse and better than all things. The optimist s pleasure was prosaic, for it dwelt on the naturalness of everything; the Christian pleasure was poetic, for it dwelt on the unnaturalness of everyting in the light of the supernatural. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
You Must Be Led By Christ, Not Men Moreover if we are firmly gripped by a true picture of life with Jesus and are moving by experience deeper and deeper into its reality, we will be able, strongly but calmly, to resist the mistakes and abuses of religious authority. From the local congregation up to the highest levels of national and international influence, we hear people and groups claiming that they have been divinely guided as to what we are to do. Dallas Willard – Hearing God ©1984 InterVarsity Press
When Abiding, You Get What You Ask For We enter the sacred chamber on our knees. We still our thoughts and words, and say, Lord, teach us to pray. Give us thy holy desires, and let our prayer be the very echo of thy will. Give us thy Spirit as our advocate within. Open our eyes to see our great high priest and advocate above, and help us so to abide in Him, and to have His Word so abiding in us, that we shall ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us. A. B. Simpson – The Life of Prayer – circa 1890, © 2007 Bridge-Logos
The Kiss of Life The friend who cleaves to his friend in the spirit of Christ is made one heart and soul with him (Acts 4:32). Ascending to the friendship of Christ through the stages of love, he is made one spirit with him (1 Cor. 6:17) in a single kiss. The holy soul sighs for that kiss, saying, “Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth” (Song 1:1). Alfred of Rievaulx, From Spiritual Friendship circa 1150; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Discerning Between Soul and Spirit When you go to prayer, you should deliver yourself wholly up into the hands of God with perfect resignation, making an act of faith, believing that you are in the divine presence, afterwards remaining in that holy repose with quietness, silence, and tranquility, and endeavoring for a whole day, a whole year, and your whole life to continue that first act of contemplation by faith and love… by this you will be undeceived and know what is the perfect and spiritual manner of prayer, and be advised what is to be done in internal recollection. You will know that to the end that love may be made perfect and pure, it is expedient to curtail the multiplication of sensible and fervent acts, the soul continuing quiet and resting in that inward silence. Because tenderness, delight, and sweet sentiments, which the soul experiences in the will, are not purely spiritual, but are acts blended with the sensibility of nature. Nor is it perfect love, but sensible pleasure, which distracts and hurts the soul. Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Who Are You in Relationship With? Sin is not a creation, it is a relationship. The essential nature of sin is my claim to my right to myself. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
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