A Call To The Remnant

Scottish Warriors for Christ- http://www.facebook.com/acalltotheremnant

Abide in Christ and Die

Posted by appolus on February 5, 2008

“Is there a reason why the Church today is so anemic? What is missing from us that makes us so like the world? What is the answer to the fact that the modern day church is not walking in the power of God? We see so many dynamic personalities, but we see so little of the Holy Spirit.”

ABIDE IN CHRIST AND DIE 

 

Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified in Christ, It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

Is there a reason why the Church today is so anemic? What is missing from us that makes us so like the world? What is the answer to the fact that the modern day church is not walking in the power of God? We see so many dynamic personalities, but we see so little of the Holy Spirit. The most dramatic presentation of the power of the Holy Spirit is a changed life. This is truly the greatest miracle of all, yet, how often do we see that nowadays? Perhaps we are more interested in a demonstration of physical healing, perhaps we regard that more highly that the changed life? Where is tongues in the church today? Where is prophecies? Where is interpretations of tongues? Where are words of knowledge? The absence of all of these gifts demonstrated, should be a serious sign of a chronic illness in the body. There can be no healthy body without these gifts being normative, for these gifts were given by God for the health and vitality of the body.

If I decide to take a branch from one tree and graft it into another, a few things has to happen. First I must prepare the receiving vine. It has to be “wounded.” I have to make a wound in the side of the vine in order that it may receive the foreign branch. The closer the match the better the bond will be. Then I have to cut the branch away from old tree, prepare the end of it to closely match the open wound on the receiving vine, then finally insert the branch into the prepared wound. Then it must be held in place until it takes.

Brothers and sisters, Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. We know that the Lord “was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.” (Isa 53) Jesus submitted to the cross in Gethsemane, yet He still had to face the cross. In Gethsemane the decision was made, but on Calvary it was worked out. Peter followed Jesus and knew Him and loved Him and testified of Him and all of this while the cross of Calvary was still an offense to him (Mat 16:16-17, 21,23)

Let me ask you a question, do you know Jesus, or know someone who knows Jesus and testifies of Him and loves Him, yet, Calvary is an offense to them. The notion of dying and suffering , trials and tribulations is a horror to them that they would never willingly submit to. You see, you can be a branch, cut of from the world, yet never united into the wounds of Jesus. And if your never united into His wound, then you cannot abide in Him. It is only by being joined to His wound, inserted into His tribulations, that we can draw the power that flows from the vine. God Himself had to be wounded in order to receive Jesus, the God-man. He was not asking His son to do something He was not prepared to suffer Himself. How was God the Father wounded you may ask? At the height of Calvary, when He watched His precious Son become sin for us and turned away and then heard His Son cry out “My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me,” God the Father was wounded to the very depths of His soul in ways that only a parent who has watched their child die in agony can even come close to imagining. And we know at that very moment, ” The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” What does the veil represent? It represents the covering of Gods heart, His chest if you like. When the sacrifice was complete, that which had been hidden from men in general, was revealed. God chose to show His presence to the world through His Son Jesus. So, through the wounds of Jesus, and the wounds of the Father, we are united into His presence and power that flows from His presence. Listen to what Andrew Murray says in “Abiding with Christ.”

“It is a deep mystery, this cross of Christ. I am afraid there are many Christians who are content to look upon the cross, with Christ on it dying for their sin, who have little heart for fellowship with the crucified one. They hardly know that He invites them to it. Or they are content to consider the ordinary afflictions of life, of which the worlds children often have as many as they do, as their share of Christ’s Cross. They have no understanding of what it means to be crucified with Christ, not knowing that bearing the cross means likeness to Christ in the principals that propelled Him in the path of obedience. The entire surrender of all self will, the complete denial to the flesh of its every desire and pleasure, the perfect seperation from the world in all its ways of thinking and acting, the losing and hating of one’s life, the giving up of self and its interests for the sake of others- this is the disposition that marks him who has taken up Christ’s cross, who seeks to say, “I am crucified with Christ, the Crucified One.”

Is this you brother? Is this you sister? Are you crucified with Him or were you merely torn from the tree and never grafted into Him. Are you Peter who loves Him, Peter who testifies of Him but the Peter to whom the cross was an offence?If you are, then ultimately you will deny him, maybe not with curses, but certainly with the life that you lead, a worldly life. There are so many voices today in the church and out of it compelling the body to get all that they can get out of life, how that they deserve it, how that they should not be satisfied with their position in life. They should own everything or run everything because they are special. The truth is, brothers and sisters, that there are many in the church that “suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in perdition………..for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1st Tim 6:5-10)

We cannot have peace and contentment outside of the vine. This is what the world is truly searching for and riches will never bring it. When tribulations come this year, and it is coming, it will not matter how much you own or what position you hold in life, it will be your peace that will enable you to survive. Those branches that are joined to the vine will rest in the peace of God, even in the midst of tribulation, those who are not joined to the vine will have “nervous breakdowns,” and find solace, not in the life-giving sap that flows from the throne of God, but in drugs, prozac and the like, or alcohol or some such thing. If you know that you made a decision for Christ, that your branch was cut off from the world but that you never joined yourself to the fellowship of His suffering, I ask you to do it right now. How will I know if I have never done it ? You will lack peace and joy and contentment. You will be filled with all kinds of fears and you will be anxious. Surrender now , vow to God that your giving up everything for Him, that you will now seek your pleasure in Him. He is faithful and waiting. Do not wait until the time of tribulation, this is the mistake of the five virgins, do it now. If you do it, your branch shall prosper, your fruit shall be abundant and hang low and passers by will be refreshed by your kindness, you love, self-control, your joy, your peace and they will take from you, this is the way it is supposed to be. “And you will bear much fruit.”

By the stem which bears me yet.
“I fear not the days to come,
I dwell not upon the past,
As moment by moment I draw a life,
Which for evermore shall last.

“I bask in the sun’s bright beams,
Which with sweetness fills my fruit,
Yet I own not the clusters hanging there,
For they all come from the root.”

A life which is not my own,
But another’s life in me:
This, this is the message the Branch would speak,
A message to thee and me.

Oh, struggle not to “abide,”
Nor labor to “bring forth fruit,”
But let Jesus unite thee to Himself,
As the Vine Branch to the root.

So simple, so deep, so strong
That union with Him shall be:
His life shall forever replace thine own,
And His love shall flow through thee.

For His Spirit’s fruit is love,
And love shall thy life become,
And for evermore on His heart of love
Thy spirit shall have her home.
                                                 Freda Hanbury

4 Responses to “Abide in Christ and Die”

  1. faithwalk said

    Frank, I am glad to see you back writing and hope to have time to comment some more tomorrow. There is nothing that speaks more eloquently of the power and love of God than a changed life. What we cannot do on our own, Christ makes possible.

    The cross in all it’s beauty is a thing to be treasured, from death and suffering came healing and eternal life. What a glorious wonder!

    May we ever follow Jesus and abide in the vine!

    Abundant Joy and Blessings to you Frank! Write and tell me all about your recent trip home to Scotland. I miss her and look forward to returning in the Fall.

    Jesus love and grace to you,

    Susan

    Bless you!

  2. appolus said

    Susan, it is good to be back in America. Scotland is a tough place to be in the middle of January. Winds were blowing between 50 and 70 miles an hour for the last four days of my trip. My trip was mostly a personal one. I knew it would be tough and it was. Before I left, a man of God who knew nothing of my life said to me “dirty laundry.” Strange phrase, but very appropriate for my situation. Very briefly, my background, my testimony is that I am one of three chldren of a violent alcholic. The bane of many Scottish children. The saving grace of our family was my mothers salvation when I was 7. She paid a very violent price for her conversion over almost 15 years. All three kids turned to drink and drugs to one degeree or another. I was saved when I was 26, 17 years ago. My brother is a heroin addict and has been in and out, mostly in, prison for the last 14 years. He happened to be out this time and I got to spend some time with him. My sister had an anurisym 7 years ago at the age of 38. She survived but her husband of 17 years could not cope and left her and took the children. She lost everything. She fell into a world of drugs and alcohol. My trip home was to get her into a mental instituion in order to save her life. She was taken in the day I arrived. She came within a couple of days of dying. Her potassium level was so low that they had to rush her into the heart unit. She had not eaten for almost 10 weeks. There is a lot more to my story, but I think it overwhelms most Christians that I talk to so I limit my sharing. What I can say is that when overwhelming darkness comes in like a flood, the penetrating light of my Lord and savior Jesus rises up like a mighty standard. His flag is firmly planted in the battlefield of life and flies in victory over what often seems like defeat. When others look at the dry bones of my family in Scotland they say, can there possibly be life here? Yet I worship a God who puts flesh on these bones, who knits them together with every sinew and when all is done, breathes the very life into them. I worship a miracle working God who is higher than the heavens. I was not there when he laid the foundations of the world, but I know He did. I was not there when He created the countless billions of stars but I know He did. I know that the vastness of all that exists is overwhelming for my limited understanding, but I know that not only does He exist in this vastness, He contains it all and all is a mere drop in the bucket to the vastness of my God.So I say to myself, is there anything to difficult for my God? And given what I have just confessed, of course the answer is no. This is the hope of glory, this is my life, my sanity, my wonder, my beauty and I am awestruck that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords knows me by name and knows every hair upon my head and loves what I love……..Frank

  3. faithwalk said

    Thank you for sharing some more of your testimony Frank; through it your love for our Saviour and trust in His faithfulness shines through. I am blessed in the reading and pondering your words. They are beautiful.

    Truly the Lord can breathe new life into dry bones! Nothing, absolutely nothing is too hard for our awesome mighty God.
    He even takes those bones that are broken and scattered across the desert, mends and knits them together again. Bless the Lord Jesus our King!
    May the peace that passes understanding continue to keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus; may His Spirit go before you and pave the way for an awakening and outpouring of His Spirit once again.
    I will remember your family in prayer.

    We stand on the edge of a new Day, a different season than any of us have known before. Exactly what it is I know not; only that change is coming to the Body of Christ and those chosen to labor in this final Age.

    The blessings and grace of our Lord Jesus to you Frank!

    Susan

  4. appolus said

    We are coming to a new day Susan. The new day is His manifest presence. The breaking of the Babylonian spirit, our worldliness, our reliance upon comfort and ease will now be shaken and that will be a glorious thing. Once again the Church will begin to shine her light into the darkness of this world. This necassary shaking is the hand of God. And all those Christians who come forth from the shaking God says “I will lay your foundations with sapphires (Is 54:11) In the midst of the trial,the yielded servant of God learns insight from the intimate chamber and is not easily shaken…………..Frank

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