Vitally United

Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [ Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5, Amplified)

If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7, Amplified)

If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. (John 15:10, Amplified)

This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. (John 15:12, Amplified)

We are to live vitally united to God. Now the Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8 that God is love. He doesn’t just have love, He is love. Everything He says, everything He does is motivated and permeated with love, because that’s Who and what He is. So how do you remain vitally united to this kind of Being? By love.

Why a commandment of love? Because it keeps us vitally united to Him. Not just connected to Him, but in such union with Him, that His love in us now motivates and permeates all that we do.

Jesus was an example of this. We see over and over in the Gospels that Jesus was moved with compassion. We also know from scripture that He only said and He only did what He saw and heard the Father do. He was love in action. He was motivated by love and He was permeated by love. And when that love overflowed from His being people were healed, delivered, fed miraculously and even raised from the dead.

And God wants to do the same through you. Receive His love. Believe His love. Walk in His love. Remain vitally united to Love and let Him motivate and permeate all that you do.

…if I have [sufficient] faith so that can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). (1 Corinthians 13:2, Amplified)

…faith which worketh by love. (Galatians 5:6, KJV)

…faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. (Galatians 5:6, Amplified)

For with God nothing shall be impossible. (Luke 137, KJV)

For with God, vitally united to Love Himself, nothing shall be impossible.

With God

This precious Bible that I hold never ceases to amaze me. It is so intricate. Just when you think you’ve seen all there is to see in a scripture, you turn it ever so slightly, the Light hits it at a different angle and you see a whole new facet of God and His word. No single word can be taken for granted. Even a little word like the word ‘with’ tells us so much and can make a big difference in our lives.

First, lets take a look at the meaning of this little word. The American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster (1828) in defining the word ‘with’ says, “The primary sense is to press, or to meet, to unite…”

Yesterday I visited a precious woman in the hospital. She was very discouraged and very depressed about her situation. Just that morning the doctor had told her what she was going to have to do to fully recover. It looked very much like an impossible, uphill battle. She was sure she couldn’t do it. But I knew she could. Why? Because of God. He makes all the difference in every situation.

For with God nothing shall be impossible. (Luke 1:37, KJV)

With God. I shared with this precious lady that as impossible as her situation appears to be, if she would ask God and trust God to take hold with her, the impossible just became possible. He never asked her to do this alone. He never wanted her to do this alone.

We see men and women doing impossible things all throughout the Bible. How did they do them? With God, united to Him.

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. (John 15:4-5, KJV)

Without Him we can do nothing, but with Him all things are possible.

A Yielded Vessel

This morning I’ve been thinking about Christmas. I love this time of year with all the decorations, the gifts, and the gatherings. I love wrapping gifts, putting up the tree, and playing Christmas music. But this morning, that’s not what I was thinking about. I was thinking about a young girl at the center of the story of Christ’s birth. I was thinking about His mother, Mary.

Lets take a look at some scriptures that mention this mighty woman of God, who started out as a yielded young girl.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:22-23, KJV)

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:30-33, KJV)

She was a young virgin, engaged to be married and God was asking her to carry His Son. It was going to cost her. It used to be quite a stigma in our society for a young, unmarried girl to become pregnant. But in Mary’s day, it was much more than a stigma, she could be stoned to death for such a thing.

But in the questions she asked and the things she said, I don’t see her thinking about what this might cost her, but just curious about how this could be.

Then said, Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:34-35, KJV)

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. (Luke 1:38, KJV)

Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. (Luke 1:38, Amplified)

No questions of “What about me?” or “What about my reputation?” “What about my life.” Her response was “I am His. And my life is His to do with as He wills.”

While this was so strange, so new, so impossible she never doubted Him. She believed Him and trusted Him with her life.

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. (Luke 1:45, KJV)

She yielded spirit, soul and body and brought forth the Son of God.

God has plans for each of us. They may seem strange and impossible. But if He’s asking I guarantee you it will be marvelous and wonderful. Yield today in all that He asks. Love the unlovely. Forgive the unforgivable. Step out on His word and do the works. Yield yourself to Him and to His plans and let His power work in you and through you to change this world forever. All to the glory of God.

Eyes to See

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. The wind is howling. The temperature is 31 degrees Fahrenheit, but according to the weather report it feels like 17 degrees. In a couple of hours it will drop to 27 degrees and feel like 12 degrees and I’ll be heading to a hospital to pray for someone before their surgery. Why? Because of Matthew 25:34-40.

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (NKJV)

This morning I was thinking about a song by Brandon Heath called Give Me Your Eyes. Here are some of the lyrics:

All those people going somewhere, 
Why have I never cared?

Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

There are people going hungry all around us. There are people who need their thirst quenched, both physically and spiritually. There are people who need someone to take them in. There are many who need to be clothed. There are many who are sick and need to be visited. There are many sitting in prisons waiting for someone to come with answers, with life, with Truth. Do we see them?

I’ve been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just moving past me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way you see the people all along
(from song by Brandon Heath, Give Me Your Eyes)

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him… (Luke 10:33, KJV) 

‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:40, NKJV)

Leaning on God

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6, Amplified)

Our faith pleases God. Think about that. We can be pleasing to the Creator of the Universe. He loves us no matter what, but oh to be pleasing to Him. Forget about being a people pleaser and become a God-pleaser. How? By faith.

What is faith? Let’s take a look at Colossians 1:4 in the Amplified to see faith defined.

For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness]…

I love the use of the word leaning. Faith is not just believing in God and His faithfulness to do what He said, but in so completely believing and trusting that you lean on Him and His word to the point that if He wasn’t there you’d fall.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV)

Throughout the Psalms David spoke often of this trusting, this leaning on the Lord.

Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:5, Amplified)

By [the help of God] I will praise His word; on God I lean, rely, and confidently put my trust; I will not fear. What can man, who is flesh, do to me? (Psalm 56:4, Amplified)

Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! (Psalm 62:8, Amplified)

…I lean on, rely on, and trust in Your word. (Psalm 119:42, Amplified)

The very first scripture in today’s post comes from the book of Hebrews chapter eleven. This is known by many as the “Faith Hall of Fame”. Men and women who did mighty and impossible things in their lives because of faith. David is among this list of people, as are Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelites (led by Moses and Joshua), Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, Samuel, the prophets, and the women who “received again their dead by a resurrection”, those who refused to deny Him and suffered for His Name, and the martyrs. The mighty men and women of the Bible…

Who by [the help of] faith subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of the lions, extinguished the power of raging fire, escaped the devourings of sword, out of frailty and weakness won strength and became stalwart, even mighty and resistless in battle, routing alien hosts. (Hebrews 11:33-34, Amplified)

All by faith, simple trust and confidence in God (Hebrews 11:28, Amplified). Stop leaning on your own abilities, your own strength, your own understanding and by faith in God access the grace of God which is the power of Christ resting on you (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). Then you will find yourself walking in His abilities, His strength, His understanding in whatever you face. It is of faith that it might be by grace (Romans 4:17).

It pleases Him when you lean on Him so He can get involved in all that you do.

I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. [Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge… A thousand shall fall at your side, then ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High]… (Psalm 91:2-4 7-8; Amplified)

Pursuing God

I was recently talking to a friend about our support of James Robison’s ministry, Life Outreach International. I mentioned James’ book My Father’s Face and how it so changed my life when I first read it many years ago. She asked me to explain, but I couldn’t remember what it was that so affected me, so I decided to reread the book. I’m so very glad I did.

This morning as I was reading, I came across a paragraph I wanted to share with you.

People have said to me from time to time, “James, you seem to be able to hear God’s voice in a special way. You talk about conversing with God as you would about leaning over the back fence to talk to a neighbor. I just don’t hear God speak the way you do.”

No, not everyone will. But I believe with all my heart that every believer can. In fact, God told a prophet of old that if we seek Him with all our heart we will find Him. In my life, missing my own father’s voice as I did, I so hungered for conversation with my heavenly Father that I have pursued and pursued it. And as I did, I found that He had been pursing me and calling me all along. (excerpt taken from My Father’s Face, by James Robison, Multnomah Books 1997)

I have found that to be so true in my own life and in the lives of others who have hungered after God. Finding their deepest need for fellowship unsatisfied by anything or anyone else.

Often times I have seen husbands and wives, parents with their children, and friends, sabotage their relationships, because they are trying to get from people what only God can give. Some examples are trying to get their identity, security, constant companionship and perfect, unconditional love from others.

I discovered long ago that as wonderful and satisfying the relationships in my life could be nothing compares to my relationship with Him. He is the source of my strength, my life, my joy and the overflow of that is what makes my life and my relationship with others so wonderful.

In His book James Robison mentioned a very important key to this kind of fellowship found in Romans 10:17.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (KJV)

Hearing comes by the Word. Start there and never depart from there. Listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to you through His Word and then act on it. And you will find that more and more you will recognize His voice in the scriptures and then when He speaks to you in the car, in the grocery store, in the mall, you will recognize His voice from those times in His Word.

But you will also have the word to judge whether it’s God or not. I’ve heard Him say things that so challenged my theology that many times I’ve asked Him, “Show me that in the Word.” Then scripture after scripture would come to me confirming what He said. Or the pastor would minister on that very thing from the Word of God. Or a friend would put a book in my hand that explained that very thing on the basis of scripture.

Every time you pick up your Bible to read it, don’t just pick it up to check off your daily reading assignment. Don’t pick it up just trying to get information. But pick it up pursing God. Pursue God in the scriptures and you will soon find that through the scriptures He is pursuing you.

Cards to Dong Yun Yoon

More from Michelle Malkin on reaching out to Dong Yun Yoon:

Reader David talked to Yoon’s pastor, who said you can send card and help directly to his church.

Here’s the address:

Dong Yun Yoon
c/o Rev. Kevin Lee
Korean United Methodist Church
3520 Mount Acadia Blvd
San Diego, CA 92111

His faith and patriotism have touched so many of us so deeply. Take a moment to help lift him up.

This is love in action.