Another one of the advantages that I’ve had with having the whole month of July off from taking care of grandsons is more time for prayer, personal reflection and Bible study. In all my years of living for God, many mornings I will awake with a song on my heart, but never has God awoken me with a scripture on my heart until this past July 15th. But when I awoke July 15th and heard Him say, “Abide in Me and I will abide in you”…I knew that would be the subject of my bible study that day.
Now, I don’t profess to be a Bible Scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but I do love to read and study God’s word. And so the 15th chapter of John became my focus…here are just a few of my written notes:
verse 1) husbandman? hmmm…God is the master of the house, tiller of the soil; his business is to cultivate the soil.
verse 2) He prunes me!
verse 3) The word will keep me clean; the word will keep me from sin.
verse 4) There it is! What I woke up with! I can’t do anything without God! I am unfruitful without God!
verse 5) God and I are directly linked! We are connected! I will bear much fruit with God –but without Him I am nothing.
verse 6) I envision picking up all the dead branches laying on the ground when my husband mows and throwing them into the burn pile. That branch can be me – DEAD – if I leave God out of the equations.
verse 7) OMG! Thank you God! There’s that condition again! I’ve often quoted James 4:3, but there’s a condition! In order to receive what I ask I must first abide in the vine and He in me!!
verse 8) disciple? hmmm…If I am a disciple for God, I will be able to “pay it forward”. I will be effective for the ministry. I will be an example; a witness. People will see a true & sincere change in me!
verse 9) my love walk will be perfected.
verse 10) A condition again! “IF” I keep His commandments!! OMG! I will be able to replicate the love of the Father and the Son!!
Which then took me to the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17 Remember…no Bible Scholar here….just my take on things….
1) No other Gods! He comes first!! (TV, Sewing, Fitness – they can all be “Gods” if they become more important in my daily life then Him!!)
2) No idols! No images! Love Him and Him only – He will show mercy!
3) Don’t take His name in vain!
4) Sunday is an important day! Rest, relax, reflect on God. Don’t work!
5) Whether they deserve it or not, I MUST honor my mom and dad!
6) No kill
7) No adultery – stay emotionally and physically connected to your mate!
8) No theft!
9) Bearing false witness? hmmm…To lie or accuse without evidence.
10) Thou shalt not “covet”? to desire for things that are not yours!
Good stuff and much food for thought as I return to John 15….
verse 11) If I keep His commandments my joy will be full!
verse 12) Love!
verse 13) Love more!
verse 14) Obedience!
verse 15) A “friend” of God knows God and His ways!
verse 16) I am chosen!
verse 17) Love!
verse 18) Don’t fret over being hated! The Lord was hated first!
verse 19) When the world hates you that’s a good sign you must be doing something right!
verse 20) They will heed my words “if” I abide in Him. (That “if” is the condition, see it?)
verse 21) I will be persecuted for living for God!!
verse 22) It’s easy to remain in denial about my sin if I don’t walk in the spirit.
verse 23) They are ONE!
God the Father & Jesus the Son are one…and these words (if you looked) are written in red. That means he is speaking directly to us and although He is merciful and a just God – Yes, he loves us unconditionally, but IF we want the full and abundant life there are certain things we must do – there are some conditions.
This really benefited me. I hope by sharing it, it did you too. His word is so powerful and so enlightening and when I go there, I just want to go there more, and hopefully while I’m relaxing with my sweetheart in the New Mexico mountains we will both be able to spend some time reflecting on God’s goodness!
Vacation pics on the way! Be blessed my friends!