|Paul, the Apostle, Romans 12:1-4, New Testament, The Holy Bible, English Standard Version|
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Jesus Christ is the True Vine to which believers (as the branches ) are attached; and through which our nourishment (The Bible)and energy (The Holy Spirit of God) comes in order to provide spiritual growth (Faith)- spiritual stability (Discipleship)- spiritual fruit (Stewardship) in each believer so we may honor God (The Root).
A detached believer tries to live apart from the Lordship of Jesus Christ or tries to portray a Christian lifestyle in the flesh rather than through the Holy Spirit. By not abiding in Christ through faith and obedience we cannot bear fruit and eventually become useless as believers. God will not continue to waste his resources on unfruitful believers. Yes God does give us another chance, however, we must be mindful of the “cursed fig tree” and “the unproductive vineyard”. One was not given another chance because the Lord found no fruit when he came looking for it and the other was given a final opportunity after the Lord allowed the worker another season to cultivate it or it would be destroyed.
Remember busy-ness is not service, emotionalism is not worship, and ritualism is not relationship. Only a life that seeks God through his Word and prayer; seeks to be sanctified daily; and desires to do His will rather than live for self can truly be fed, energized, and productive for Christ.
John 15: 1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every 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. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide 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. 5I 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. 6If 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. 7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
The night before Jesus was to be killed, He prayed and asked God if were possible to remove this cup of suffering from Him. Yet, He immediately says, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will”. Jesus knew that if He didn’t suffer and die there would be no salvation for mankind to escape Hell and live with God forever. He was in saying Father, I’ll do what you want me to do.
Sometimes we are faced with difficult tasks and times. They may be painful, uncomfortable, or just not what we wanted. Whether or not we want to deal with something is not nearly as important as how we deal with it. That’s when it’s best look to Christ who did what was painful so we could live forever. The walk of faith will be filled with difficulties, pain, and troubles. if we focus these things we’ll be distracted from the task at hand and possibly miss a blessing along the way. That’s way Hebrews reminds us to “lay aside every weight and sign that so easily besets up, and run the race with patience, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.”
Ask God for help and He will. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
This movie is filled with violence, profanity, and irreverent behavior. I’m not sure how these Hollywood writers could produce this movie since the main plot is about a man devoted to protecting the Bible. Either way, Eli does protect the Bible and deliver it as he was ‘instructed’ (sorry for the spoiler).
I want to ask YOU a simple question. Which do you prefer, fiction or fact? If you are impressed by the media’s promotion, the critics, or your friends’ review of this movie let me assure you that the real story of the preservation and purpose of the Bible is far more interesting and impacting.
The God of Heaven initiated a plan for man. Devil, Lucifer, Satan has been doing all he can to destroy and pervert God’s plan for man. He does this because he hates God. He wants to be God but he can’t. Since being evicted from Heaven, and while waiting for his final destructive judgment, Satan works every moment of his existence to deceive and distract men from knowing or desiring God’s plan. God has chosen and utilized many people throughout history to record, communicate, and carry out his plan. He used Seth the God-fearing son of Adam, Enoch the man who walked with God and did not die, and Noah the man God used to build an ark and repopulate a destroyed earth. He called men like Moses to lead God’s people out of Egypt, Gideon who battled thousands of soldiers with only 300 men, and David the warrior king called to be a reference point for the Messiah of the world. He used men like Jeremiah who was persecuted by his own people for declaring God’s word, Ezekiel who preached to the dry bones, and Jonah who preached to Nineveh after being spit out of a great fish.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world, came to earth in total obedience to God to preach, practice, and provide all that God’s Word intended. He, Jesus Christ, battled Satan, confronted and condemned corrupt religious leaders, feed the hungry, healed the sick, preached to the believing and unbelieving alike, and finally gave His own life by dying to pay for the sins of mankind. He conquered death, rose from the dead, and returned to Heaven in glorious victory to prepare a place for those who will believe in Him, repent of their sins and receive the free gift of eternal life. By the power of the Holy Spirit, He provides those who believe with the ability and stability to walk faithfully, obediently, and lovingly through this life. He gives believers the strength to endure through drought, flood, persecution, and abandonment. He provides comfort in the times of anxiety and crisis. He gives temperance and courage to the faithful warriors of the Word. He supernaturally creates integrity in mortals who are naturally flawed. He takes wounded people and makes them living examples of faith, trust, and victory. He is coming back to judge this world and physically take all believers back to Heaven with him. The person who repents and believes in Jesus Christ as Lord receives the gift of the Holy Spirit to live inside them. He takes people who are spiritually dead and worldly ignorant and transforms them into holy warriors who are godly wise, spiritually rich, and biblically strong followers of Christ.
Having summarized just these few fact from the Bible I will ask the question again. Which do you prefer, the fiction of a Hollywood movie (or any other fictional story) which will eventually be forgotten when the next ‘blockbuster moves’ comes along; or the historically factual, life-changing, salvation offering, God-glorifying, heavenly directed reality of God’s word?
Whether or not you’ve seen the Book of Eli, all of its fictional details are nothing compared to the Book of Books – The Holy Bible in all of God’s Holy truth. (SPOILER ALERT: By the way, at the end of the movie the Bible is displayed with other books from other belief systems. This would suggest that the Bible is just one of many sacred texts to be valued and respected. If you’ve read the Bible then you know that’s never going to happen.)