A friend said she wanted to work on her faith in this New Year. Actually, God is working on us! So as for me, in my limited knowledge of the Lord, I have mostly learned that it is HE who works on us.
Apostle Paul, with Timothy his scribe and student, aspired to advancing God’s work—which IS by faith. “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
Sincere means listening and not quenching the lead of the Lord, doing what He says. Faith knows peace without understanding it.
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians church folk whom he taught: “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by HIS POWER he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed PROMPTED by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
I’ve experienced in me that Jesus as the Vine is the One who connects and feeds us as branches (gospel of John). It can be like growing the Grinch’s heart when he saw and experienced love. The vine valves we squeaked open. If we want to grow our faith, really all we need to do is start listening to the flow better – tap into it – grease up the valves – LET IT FLOW – and faith will be ebbing thru us, overcoming as it overflows.
Like leaves on the branches, we turn our faces to the sun to absorb the light, open special stomata underneath to take in carbon dioxide, absorb the water flowing from the vine deeply rooted, and growing gets to work. Do we produce sugars, vitamins, minerals, nourishment for ourselves? Not exclusively as the creations, work, products become fruit of HIS Vine. An orange tree or tomato bush grows fruit for the picking, giving up its best. We should too.
Like He desires in us, from us, as His Vine branches, we need to leaf out in spring, absorb the Shine of His Light, intake the flow of Spirit, be fed by the Living Water – and be His strong branches to bear fruit. Our Vinedresser watches and prunes us for the good of His crop.
Psalm 90:1-4, 12, 16-17
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night…
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom…
May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.
“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 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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:1-12