Sunday Inspiration: Stories from the Vineyard
About a week ago, I was led to re-read “Secrets of the Vine” by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, one of my favorite authors.
I have read at least five books by Bruce, but my favorite is “Secrets of the Vine” because in it are simple keys to living an abundant life.
In Chapter 1 titled “Stories from the Vineyard,” Bruce writes:
Have you ever been with someone very close to you who is about to die, someone who loves you, and wants to to leave you with a final word?
“Come closer.” You lean close, straining to hear. “I want to tell you something. I’ve waited until now … but I can’t wait any longer.” You know that you’ll remember every word for the rest of your life.
Now imagine that the person who is about to speak is Jesus. How closely would you listen? How long and hard would you ponder your Lord’s last words to you?
In the pages to come, I invite you to encounter, perhaps for the first time, Jesus’ words in John 15 – the heart of His final message to His disciples on the night he was betrayed. By dusk the following day, Jesus would be stretched out on a cross. His body stripped and pierced, His life ebbing away.
Jesus knew the words He spoke that night would echo in His friends’ memories for years. In time, the truth of His “deathbed conversation” would lead them to a whole new way of thinking. These final words are so little understood today that I’ve called them “secrets,” but I’m convinced that Jesus meant for their meaning to be clear. The time for parables and hidden meanings had passed. He wanted every follower for generations to come to know exactly how to live an overflowing life and understand what God would do to make it happen.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:5,7-8)
Blessings to understand the secrets of the vine!
P.S. Yesterday, Julia and I drove to northern Virginia with our dog Maui to visit our daughter Caren to celebrate her birthday. We went hiking together for the first time at Scott’s Run in Fairfax County, near the Potomac River. That’s a beautiful park and we were blessed with a gorgeous day. Here’s a link to some of the photos we took. Enjoy.
1) Home Run – In Theaters Now
“Home Run reminds us of the power of forgiveness, the richness of redemption, and the wisdom of trusting God to revive us.” – Max Lucado
2) Simon Cowell made fun of this Gospel singer and then was blown away
3) The Boston Massacre and the Image of God by Joseph Mattera
4) Contrasting a Kingdom Mindset with a Church Mindset by Joseph Mattera
5) Eleven Contrasting Traits between an Orphan Spirit and a Spirit of Sonship by Joseph Mattera
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