"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“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 anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 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 15:1-8 (I wanted to quote the whole of John 15, but I know that the more is quoted, the less tends to be read!)
Hi Precious Friends and Family :)
So I was reading a book by Bodie and Brock Thoene. If you've never read their books before, basically they are extremely well researched historical fiction. To the extent of extremely well researched in Hebrew and Jewish culture and even going deeper into the text of the original scripture :) :) Some of their books are set in the time of Hitler and the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. Some series are set in the time of Jesus. I recommend their books to anyone!
I was reading this book called "When Jesus Wept". In this particular scene, David ben Lazarus (Lazarus who was raised from the grave) was the owner of a great vineyard. There was a plague of locusts and while Herod Antipas' vineyard was destroyed, Lazarus' vineyard was saved. Why?
From the book:
Jesus: "How did your vines survive and Herod's did not?"
Lazarus: "We fought to save them. Patrick, my servant, fought because now he's won his freedom. Samson, my vinedresser, fought because he loves me and loves these vines as if they are his own. We didn't give up. And when the oil from the smudge pots was gone and we could do no more, the Lord sent a wind and a flock of quail to eat the locusts."
Jesus focused on the contrast. "How is it that the vineyard of Herod is completely stripped? Not a shred of green remains. All his crop lost."
It was a simple question. Easy to answer. "The labourers hired by Herod's overseer gave up before the battle began. When the insects dropped down, the men didn't fight to drive them off. They were paid to work, but they have no love for the vineyard. No care for the outcome. It's nothing to them if everything is lost."
[Jesus replied]: "The hireling doesn't care, but the one who owns the land and plants, and the vinedresser who tends the vines, now there are lions who will fight to save the vineyard!"
I read this and was struck by thinking about who is the vine (JESUS) and who are the branches (me, you, the kids in Mozambique, every believer...)
So, He said to me in that moment of realisation:
"Will you fight?"
Will I fight? Do I truly love the vineyard (thinking of Jesus the vine and his people the branches)?
Intercessor, will YOU fight!
Yes I will! Because of my love I will fight in prayer and obedience! Jesus is worthy of His inheritance from every nation, tribe and tongue! He is worthy of wholehearted love!
Now just to clarify: HE is the one who fights for us- the Father is the vinedresser. But because I am His - because I was bought by the blood of the lamb, set FREE by the blood of the lamb; because I am released from my sins by the blood of Jesus - I am now free to minister with Jesus as royalty, as a priest! (Revelation 1:5-7). I will fight WITH my Jesus, FOR my Jesus, and for HIS heart, HIS people!
I will go to Brazil and help coordinate this 24/7 house of prayer in Fortaleza with a small team of myself and 4 others... 24/7 for 31 days! (Holy Spirit help us). I will go to Brazil and love the prostitute, the trafficked, the child who has never known freedom... I will go to Brazil and commit myself to unity with my team and to serve, teach, train, and lift up the Brazilian church to become labourers in the house of prayer, calling forth Jesus' purpose for the nations and to become abolitionists of human trafficking in their own nation!
I will go to Mozambique and lift up the hands of my Iris family who are labouring in Pemba, where the floods have devastated the villages, the roads, people's lives... where Iris doesn't have enough to even rebuild some of missionaries homes which were destroyed (all are safe), yet are working hard to do what they can for their friends in the villages.
I will also come back to Kansas City and commit myself to growth - being equipped and able to give more to those He sends me to!
I will pray. I will love. I will go! I will commit myself to living out a life of truth, integrity, standing for King Jesus and preaching (AND teaching) the whole gospel of the coming Kingdom, so that the Lamb will receive His reward. I will sing, I will pray, I will fight for the heart of my King!
Will you fight?
What does it look like for you to fight in your sphere, the place God has planted you? I would love to hear from you :)
Much love and prayers
I am loving this house the Lord has set me in! My 4 housemates are from America and from the Ivory Coast in Africa. 2 are on nightwatch and 2 on days. 3 are in IHOPU and one is saving up for it next semester! We are between the ages of 21 and 27! They all love the Lord and I am soo happy HE has set me here! Of course there are challenges like how to handle noise from neighbours (townhouses, very thin walls, I have been an extreme light sleeper), but the housemates make all the difference! Plus, the weather is getting warmer and we are in a predominantly black neighbourhood - we have kids of all ages playing in the front yard, back yard and across the street! sooo cute!!
Continued physical healing and to walk in complete health!
Intimacy with the Father, with the Son, with Holy Spirit...
Grace to be able to do everything which is required of me schoolwork wise... I want to have the ability to soak up, retain and grow fruit from everything I can!
Grace to lead my worship team well. To prepare well, to set them up for success, and to love well.
Grace to labour in the house of prayer (yes, intercessory prayer is both a joy and a labour!)
Abundant provision soon, for tickets for Brazil and Mozambique.
It was 82F degrees (28C) yesterday. Today was thunderstorms almost ALL day. Tomorrow it is going to snow. Oh Kansas City.