Abide or Wither

 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.  John 15:6

Right here is some great motivation to abide in God! I don’t know about you, but being withered is not a fun place to live in.  Whether you are feeling withered, or just don’t want to end up there… then going on a discovery of  abiding in God, is a must.

And if you want to bear fruit, then abiding is a pre-requisite..

  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. John 15:4

And what else happens when we abide?

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7

Therefore

Abiding is a desirable place to be.  A place of flourishing. A place of intimacy. A place where we are connected with God.

Over my next few blogs, I’m going to look at different aspects of abiding, and give you a sneek peek at some of my journey and thoughts. Along the way, I pray you will find yourself  drawn even more into your own intimacy with Jesus.

Scars

Scars. They range from the result of  long-forgotten childhood adventures, through to severe accident/surgical/self-imposed occurences.  Signposts to events that have happened. Hinting only at the pain, frustration and myriad of emotion that has probably been experienced, in differing degrees. Then there are the emotional scars. Perhaps not always visible, but they can be severely crippling.

And then there are Jesus’ scars.

I sat a couple of weeks ago, on the shore of a lake, watching the stillness. Escaping the heat, and drinking in the late afternoon sun.  As I sat,  I was contemplating believing in Jesus.  I thought of His scars on His hands, feet and side. Those scars are powerful. They were for us.  For our life, our freedom, our salvation, our healing.

Lake Rotorua But he was pierced for our    transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.    Isaiah 53.5

 

And I thought of Thomas. One of the twelve disciples that had been with Him. He had heard Jesus had come back to life, but couldn’t believe it until he had seen Jesus’ scars.  Usually we think of Thomas as the doubter. The one who we don’t want to be like. The one who lacked faith.  But in his doubt he reached out in the best direction.  To see Jesus and to see His scars. And Jesus met him and directed him:

Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.  John 20:27

How powerful are those scars.  To reach and touch them – to see His salvation. To meet Him at the place of His wounds is a powerful place to be.

Because of those wounds, He brings healing to our scars. Physical healing. Where our scars cover disability, infirmity, disease, addiction. Emotional healing. Where we carry scars on our heart, in our mind, in our spirit. No matter the cause, or the degree of pain…  He is able to touch them.

His scars did not vanish. But He was victorious over the pain. And over death.  As He is victorious over our lives, if we let Him.

2012

School has started back, summer holidays are over and 2012 rolls onwards.

I enter 2012 with no great word from God for the year. But with peace that He is.  And that His plans and His purposes are His, and that following Him, being sensitive to His timings, the year will unfold.

And change is afoot. I wrote a post back in November how I sensed change was approaching.  The door has opened to a new job beginning at the start of March, which excites me.  Just knowing God has opened the door, makes it an exciting move.  And other shufflings are happening, which make 2012 look like a fresh new year, and new beginnings.

Over my holiday, I visited the city of my birth – Rotorua. I was only weeks old when my parents moved, so I have never permanently lived there.  Yet ongoing connections with the city via a grandparent, and family property, meant I know the city fairly well…  although these connections ceased a good while ago, and I hadn’t been there for quite a few years.

Revisiting, I saw the city from a different viewpoint – literally.  I passed my favourite historic site – Te Wairoa, and thought of the changes that place has seen. It’s initial purpose long destroyed, yet flourshing again with a new purpose.

And that’s how life in God can be.  Our plans and ideas can vapourise due to any number of reasons, yet God is able to breathe into them life. And they can flourish again.. maybe looking different than before, but flourishing with life and purpose.

So 2012.  I welcome the year, and welcome God and all that He has instore!