Getting Things Straight

I get all kinds of emails from Christians around the world. Those I receive from those in the US are disturbing. They talk about how anti-Christian President Obama is and propose various ideas and legislations to bring us back to a Christian society. Hang in there and you'll understand why this is disturbing.

In God's Word King Solomon received this promise from the Lord, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2nd Chronicles 7:14)

That sounds like a map to get us back to where we need to be, but it's only part of the map. We actually have to humble ourselves. We actually have to pray and see the face of God. We actually have to turn from our wicked ways if we want God to "forgive their sin and heal their land."

Now there are many out there that will say, "That's what I'm doing." This is where the other side of the coin is revealed. In the Chronicles and the Kings we have a list of kings from David up until they are led captive in Babylon. Some kings were good, and did what was right. Most did that which was evil. One good king, I believe it was Joash, King of Judah (you see already their evil had spit the nation) ordered the cleaning out of the Temple to make it worthy of the Lord. While they were cleaning out all the garbage, the idols, the things that belonged to other idols, men found the book of the Law. We would know this as the Torah or the books of Moses. They brought it back and read it before the king. Now pay attention. As they were reading this the king tore his clothes and fell (I believe) on his face. The very reading of the Law showed him how evil he was, even though he did that which was right. He ached for the people he ruled over and destroyed all the idols, grinding them into dust. Then he had the books of the Law read before all the people and the priests and Levites cleansed themselves and began to offer up sacrifices for the people.

You may be scratching your head, wondering why I'm bringing up this ancient history. The reason is simple. As long as we try to blame someone else for the troubles we are in we are part of the problem. Until we truly humble ourselves before God, how can we turn from our evil ways? If we do not turn from our evil ways, we, the CHURCH, then our nation will continue to come under the persecution of God. It's not that God likes persecution, but He wants us to come to Him.

Many in our churches are writing their own rules, their own laws. Our hearts have grown hard. While certain people may be doing harm to this nation, they can do no greater harm than we, who call ourselves Christian, and act in ways that do not seek God out or fail to humble ourselves before our Maker. You see, God sets all authorities over us. That means President Obama and all the rest. I'm not saying they are right. I'm saying that God has sent us into our own Babylon by appointing people who would increase the burdens on our back.

Do you see it? Jeremiah prophesied this, as did Isaiah, and a number or others. Are we greater than Israel that God would stand aside for our "democracy"? We are in contempt of His court, and unless we get things right with Him they will only get worse.

The way back is through a veil of tears. Each of us must listen to the law of love that Christ spoke of, and remember that God is Love. How far have we fallen from our first love? What is in store for us if we do not return? These are the things we should be directing our energies to.

Not Political

There are lot of angry people out there following the 2012 election results. While I can understand why they are angry I also realize that anger may be one of the things that is pinning us down in this society.

Fact 1: Just about every news outlet has shown us just how poorly Pres. Barrack Obama has led this nation. He has apologized to people who are our enemies, and have stated that after Israel we are next to be destroyed. This should be scary to say the least.
Fact 2: Obama has driven the country's debt higher than all previous presidents combined.
Fact 3: It is obvious that Obama does not want the people to have the right to make their own decisions. Perhaps the South was right to secede from the Union in 1860. Some people get the idea that the Civil War was about freeing the slaves. While that did become a factor, the real issue was State Sovereignty, and I think they were right in that.
Fact 4: While we have the privilege to vote for the candidate of our choice it is actually God who establishes authorities over us. How God does that is in direct proportion to the way we, as Christians, have, or have not obeyed Him. Currently God has handed us over to a cruel task-master.

So what does all this mean? Why am I bringing this up? I am bringing this up because there are worse things than a president bound to destroy our nation. Many of you may disagree with me on that. It seems to me that as long as you and I regard this nation as the top of our priorities then we will continue to be angry and bitter with our president. This is such a crazy thing to do.

One person shared with me that unforgiveness, bitterness, and anger directed towards anyone, is like wishing they would die and taking the poison ourselves. This is what America is currently doing. We are taking poison in hopes that some other person dies or is incapacitated in their duties, in this case, President Obama.

As Christians we are to forgive, even as Jesus forgave us. Do you think that you, by your own hand, find any goodness in the eyes of God? If you do then you better change your way of thinking. Scripture tells us that there is none righteous, no not one, and that Jesus offered Himself up to die for us that we might be seen righteous through Him. Dare we think any less for the one God has placed over us?

I do not agree with Obama. I believe nearly all his policies are corrupt and seems almost calculated to destroy the United States. And yet I forgive him, with the help of the Holy Spirit. For if I rebel against Obama I am rebelling against God.

The Bible says, "If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways then shall I hear from Heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land."

Time is working against us. It flies by like a barn swallow. If we do not repent now, we may never have the chance. The cup of God's wrath is already being filled. People have warped His words to support their own deviant behaviors; anger, drunkenness, sexual lust, and yes homosexuality. These also we must uphold in prayer and forgiveness. I have friends who are homosexuals, but they know my beliefs as well. I don't preach to them, nor do I put them down. People are people.

For instance, the shooting in Connecticut have nothing to do with guns or mental disabilities. It has to do with the presence of evil, and we must realize that this evil exist in all of us. The evil in one may provoke the evil in another. Jesus came into the world for this very purpose, to destroy that evil in us, but He can only do so to those who respond to Him.

While I would normally be writing about the birth of Christ and the miracles that surrounded that birth I believe it is more important to remind you, to remind me, that God is God. I'm not. Therefore I have an obligation to forgive anyone who has slighted me, and that includes the President. In fact, look at your life and pray for every person God has placed over you. Only as we seek His face and repent can we find the healing of God on this nation

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Facts vs. Truth - The Flawed Argument

Facts vs. Truth, The Flawed Argument

On the one side you have people, usually atheists, arguing against things stated in the Bible. Their approach is usually that there are no facts to support these statements, or that said facts are contradictory in nature. On the other side you have Christians who, although well meaning, argue that what they have is Truth which cannot be explained by facts along, there must be faith. As a Christian I understand what they are saying and to an extent they are correct, but to pit facts against truth is totally illogical. They are different, yes, but they do have connections to one another that makes it impossible for one to exist apart from the other.

Let us consider the cosmos, that is the entirety of the universe. What facts do we have to support the existence of this universe? Well, we have big-brained people looking through high powered telescopes, or viewing images taken from satellites. We have mathematicians calculating the distance from us to planets, stars and galaxies. We have a host of scientists telling us about many things that are either facts or believed to be facts. What we do not have, even taking all of them together, is a clear picture, understanding or grasp of our universe. We have enough to "get our heads around it", but in the end result we must have faith that the cosmos does in fact exist. Am I saying these facts are incorrect? Of course not. What I am saying is that they are only tiny pieces of a very large picture, a picture so large, in fact, that it cannot be completely seen or understood. That it does exist is truth. Truth is all the facts compiled together, and the millions of facts that have been overlooked, all summed up in the single existence of the cosmos itself. It cannot be fully seen, nor explained, but that doesn't negate the fact that it is there.

Likewise scientists have made observations about our earth, about the life on this planet, about the different species and made certain speculations based on those facts to give us an idea of where we came from. Are all these facts false? No, of course not. When they begin to disregard certain facts because it doesn't line up with their beliefs, well then that is neither true science nor is it revealing any true facts. The Truth is that God created everything there is out of nothing. He did it by the power of His spoken Word. For many this Truth is so great, so vast that it's just plain impossible to believe. Yet if we follow the facts, as we did with the cosmos, we would see that these facts are all part of a larger picture, a Truth so big that it takes faith to contain it. And the Truth is that there is a God. He is the One who is bigger than even the sum total of all the facts. The facts themselves are not incorrect, but I guess it is like putting together a large jigsaw puzzle. The truth is the picture you see on the cover, the facts are all the pieces in the box. But if someone were to disregard some of those pieces because they didn't fit with their understanding, well then that puzzle would never be solved. God gives us plenty of facts, but we cannot possibly comprehend the enormity of the picture these facts come together to make if we even had all the facts, which we do not. So we are left with doing one of two things, disregarding the existence of God, because our understanding is so limited that we cannot possibly perceive of some Divine being that is so vast, or we can allow God to give us just enough faith so that we know that He exists. If we do the latter these facts start to come together. They start to make sense. We still don't see the full picture, but by faith we can possess the fullness of God. That is why this argument is so badly flawed. It pits one against the other when there is a decided difference between facts and Truth. Yet one thing will remain, no matter where you stand on this issue, Truth cannot be altered. Truth remains truth. To alter it means only to turn it into a lie.

Now people who disbelieve the existence of God really do overlook a lot of facts. The overlook the fact that everything is slightly different, even if it looks the same. They overlook the tremendous complexity of even some of the minutest of life forms. Take grass, for instance. A simple blade of grass is actually part of a unit, a community of sorts. It has roots that shoot down into the earth and the blade reaches up to the sky. If we let it grow long enough the community will also send up a shoot that will carry seeds that will plant new grass. Let's go back to the blade of grass. This blade will always angle itself to get the most exposure to the sun. Because it is mostly water in nature, as are all living things, it needs to draw moisture up from the ground in order to stay alive. As it does so the chlorophyll that gives grass its green color reacts with the sun and the water, taking in the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and converting it to oxygen. This is just grass, but if it weren't for grass, green algae in the waters around the world, and other plant life, we would soon run out of air to breathe. It is interesting that while humans and animals exhale carbon dioxide that these little green plants live off of this gas. Furthermore, while they exhale oxygen we live off of that. This fragile balance could not possibly have happened by accident. I mean even if some great alien being were trying to create life on this planet they would have to go through many, many trials and errors to get the balance stable enough to work out so both plant and human and animal life could exist. Each time they got the balance wrong the whole experiment would shut down and they'd have to start from scratch again. The real kicker is that they would have to get this balance correct at precisely the same time or neither could exist.

In the Genesis account of creation you have God moving on the waters, which is made up of hydrogen and oxygen as I'm sure you all know. He separates the waters so that there is dry ground. This makes perfect sense because many of the plants are going to need ground to live in, and algae may be a long way in coming about. Also the animals and people are going to need ground to walk and live on. After God makes this separation he does something else. He creates lights in the sky, the sun, the moon, and the stars. This effectively gives us a way to calculate the passage of time, something that did not exist either before the world was created. You need to think outside the box here to think of timelessness, so I apologize for the reference. Yet there is something else that the creation of these lights does. It gives a balanced exposure of light and warmth to the earth that made it conducive for both plant and human and animal life. Follow this God created the plants. There was enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the waters as evaporation took place under the sun. Then God created the animals, giving the plants a good firm foothold so they wouldn't die. Finally, when the balance was nearly complete, God made man in His image, which does not refer to the physical features at all, but the fact that, like God, we are triune, having within our bodies both a center for intelligence and an eternal part of us which can most closely be described as our character or personality. This is our spiritual nature. Yet for it to survive on this planet the body must survive, and as I've just shown, God prepared the way for this shell we call the flesh or the body, to live so that the real us might have a place to live.

There is much more, but these are just some of the facts that go overlooked by people who refuse to allow God into their observations. People like this started some of the most bizarre religions on this planet, and others took their fears and limitations to twist the Truth and turn the relationship we were supposed to have with God into a religion. Having only part of the picture can be dangerous, especially if you insist on convincing yourself that you have all the pieces.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just Singing in Church - by David Brollier


I'm 58, so it may not come as a shock that I like the old hymns of the church. Let me give you some biographical background and some comments about worship services as I've seen them change over the years, and how it has affected those in the church and those in society.

Growing up we had hymnals, for you young people these are books with the songs written in them. We didn't have Power Point Presentations. We didn't have lighting affects. Depending on the congregation we had people in an orchestra who helped with the music. We didn't have professionally sounding music groups to lead the worship. Then again we didn't care, because we came to worship God.

The songs we sang were frequently over 100 years old, some much more so. We remembered to focus our eyes on the Author and Finisher of our Faith as we sang The Old Rugged Cross. We were comforted in times or hardship or loneliness as we sang What a Friend We Have in Jesus. We wept before the Lord as He wrapped His arms around us as we sang It Is Well (with my soul). Yes, the songs were old, but they were still coming from our hearts. My dad used to sing His Eye Is on the Sparrow as one of his favorite soloist numbers. One of mine has always been In the Garden. There's a line in that particular song that I love so much I would try to get the pianist to stop playing so the impact would be greater. It goes like this, "He speaks, and the sound of His voice, is so sweet the birds stopped their singing."

I'm not saying there aren't any good new songs. There are. I've come to know a few. When I was going to college there was a change in our music as a revival spread across the United States. People, some of you may classify me with them, would put down the new sound as being demonic or at least bad. Really, I'm not saying that, although if you have to leave the place where the music is being played because the music is so loud it literally is making you nauseous I think there needs to be some serious checking up. But see, I went to college in the early 70s and I bet most kids today can't recall a single song any of those bands sang back then. This isn't saying those songs were bad, but they were for a time, not for eternity. Somehow the Holy Spirit inspired many (not all mind you) of the hymns so they would span centuries and touch the hearts of people as if they were written this morning. They always seem fresh and new, even if they do include some "thees and thous".

I have a great friend in Barry McGuire. He sings from his heart. The first time I heard him he sang "It's a Happy Day" on a day that it was raining, but he meant every word of that song. Yet few people remember him for anything other than his hit Eve of Destruction. How tragic. Groups like Danny Taylor and the Children of Truth, Solid Rock, Maranatha Band, Love Song, Petra, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Micky and Becky, and many, many more are unknown to today's youth and they were the "contemporary Christian music giants" of their day.

So, here is what I have witnessed. There is, and has always been, a need for songs that are a bit lively, that speak to the current generation, but they will soon be forgotten as other groups are formed and other generations grow up. At the same time there has always been the need for the old hymns. You can't get much more basic than "On Christ the solid Rock I stand" when speaking about living a victorious Christian life. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God reminds me of Psalm 91. In other words there needs to be a balance. We, as a body of believers, need to stop playing games and focus on the Lord.

What exactly does that mean? Well, focus on the Lord and find out. If a false balance is an abomination to the Lord then how can you sing contemporary worship songs over and over (to the point they must make God sick)? How can you justify ONLY singing contemporary songs and not singing hymns. God, who never changes, nor does His Word, has said a false balance is an abomination to Him. This also means that those who only sing hymns and don't let the newer songs to be sung as well are as guilty as those who sing only contemporary songs and never hymns.

How do we maintain this balance? How do we worship God in our churches in a way that pleases Him? Jesus said, "He that worships the Father must worship in spirit and in truth." So I guess it's a matter of what your attitude is. The new songs have a way of giving us a new insight into some old truths, and this is good. Yet the old songs have a way of giving us in insight into the unchangeable faithfulness of God and His love. Both are needed.

In a recent conversation with my cousin he related something rather interesting. Working with the 2nd Chapter of Acts he spoke with them and learned that during a recording session of their hymns album Annie Herring broke down and cried during the first song. I forget what the name of the song was, but it was an old hymn of the church. Through her tears she looked up and said something like, "This is so beautiful. Who wrote this?" She didn't realize it had been written a hundred years ago. As she was broken by the Lord the Holy Spirit filled that studio and worked out a miracle. Known for their fast-paced, but heart-felt music, the 2nd Chapter of Acts, by the power of the Holy Spirit, turned out a specially anointed album of the old hymns. I wonder how many other Christian artists have also been moved by these old hymns, even if it means writing something more contemporary (in their mind) that comes from their heart.

We, as a Body of Christ, should embrace all music that glorifies the Lord. Let's forget about how many instruments are playing or whether we are using overheads, flatscreen TVs or hymnals and focus on the Lord of Glory. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever. We aren't. Our music isn't. So let us stop slapping a bunch of garbage on top of the music we have, old or new, and worship our Heavenly Father in spirit and in truth, and as we do, don't be surprised if something in that song reaches down and touches your heart, bringing you to teaches, drawing you closer to Him. For He said that if we would draw closer to Him He would draw closer to us. Now that's something to sing about. (Do I hear Nearer My God to Thee being sung?)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

When God Isn't First in our Lives

What happens when we keep God out of our dealings, when unrighteousness becomes so prevalent? This nation was once founded on God. We received the blessings of God in so many wonderful ways. God raised us up so that we were the greatest nation on earth. Somewhere along the way we decided we were responsible for our own greatness and pushed God away. We cut Him out of our schools, our sciences, harrass those who believe in God, and then...then we find things going wrong in all areas of our life. Do you think our financial mess is just some bad investments? No. We are reaping our own reward. Below is an email I received that shows how even ungodly nations can act more righteously that we are. When are we going to realize that we need to turn back to God, to repent of our sins and allow Him to heal our Land? I hope and pray we will do so and soon.


- IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR.
- IF YOU CROSS THE IRANIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU ARE DETAINED INDEFINITELY.
- IF YOU CROSS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY, YOU GET SHOT.
- IF YOU CROSS THE SAUDI ARABIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE JAILED.
- IF YOU CROSS THE CHINESE BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU MAY NEVER BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.
- IF YOU CROSS THE VENEZUELAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE BRANDED A SPY AND YOUR FATE WILL BE SEALED.
- IF YOU CROSS THE CUBAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE THROWN INTO POLITICAL PRISON TO ROT.
- IF YOU CROSS THE U.S. BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET................................
1 - A JOB,
2 - A DRIVERS LICENSE,
3 - SOCIAL SECURITY CARD,
4 - WELFARE,
5 - FOOD STAMPS,
6 - CREDIT CARDS,
7 - SUBSIDIZED RENT OR A LOAN TO BUY A HOUSE,
8 - FREE EDUCATION,
9 - FREE HEALTH CARE,
10 - A LOBBYIST IN WASHINGTON,
11 - BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS PRINTED IN YOUR LANGUAGE,
12 - AND THE RIGHT TO CARRY YOUR COUNTRY'S FLAG WHILE YOU PROTEST THAT YOU DON'T GET ENOUGH RESPECT. (AND THIS IS JUST THE SHORT LIST!!)


Remember, this is just one issue that has been affected. We have terrorist coming in illegally and being given rights that you and I work to get, only they get them freely, including the right to ridicule us. Isn't this backwards? Think about it. Then pray and ask God to give our nation's leaders wisdom to get us back on His track.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Walking the Long Road, by David Brollier


Right around New Years Eve 2002, I wrote a song called "One Step at a Time". The chorus goes like this:

One step at a time, I keep on walking.
One step at a time, the road is long,
but I keep on walking,
One step at a time,
and it won't be long, til I find my way home.

While God is interested in how faithful we are each day, He is more interested in the attitude of our heart. He knows we are going to stumble and fall along the way, but the important thing is that we get back up and keep going. The important thing is to surrender to the victory that is already ours in Jesus Christ. The important thing is to endure until the end, not the foul ups we make along the way. I am not opposing being faithful or obedient, they are what pleases God, but when we are disobedient, He wants to see how we handle this when it is brought to our attention. Are we going to repent and get back in the race, or are we going to sit on our backsides and moan and groan over our failure? The road is long for a reason. God needs that time to make us complete in the image of Jesus Christ. How we respond to this long road determines how effect we will be for Him and sometimes even how long the road is. He loves us so much that disobedient children may have a very long road so that we might, at last, shine with the brightness of His Son.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The 3rd Covenant, by David Brollier, now only $5.99


Isn't life funny? When my book was published in 2006 the suggested retail price was set at $24.95. At their site, however, the price was $19,95. Then a couple of weeks ago they lowered all books to $7.99. Now I don't know if this is signalling the end for Publish America, but if you want to purchase THE 3RD COVENANT, now is the best time, because they've dropped it down even lower to $5.99. Read below and use the link to go to the site and purchase the book.

Dear Author:
Email your readers, tell your fans, call your friends! This weekend only.
All books at PublishAmerica are priced down to
$5.99.
No coupons, no minimum purchase volumes. Just $5.99 for any book, in any quantity.
Want some copies of your own book on hand? This is your day!
Check it out at www.publishamerica.net. Hardcovers and fullcolor books excluded.
Happy Easter!
PublishAmerica Author Support Team

Monday, January 25, 2010

Politics and God

I'm not going to get real heavy into this, and I'm not going to pick a particular political party to stand behind. I want to get some things straight, things that have been heavy on my mind.

Politics is a way of taking control away from the people, much the same way religion turns something Godly into something rather deadly. The Constitution of the United States begins with these 3 words, "We the People". That doesn't mean those people in Washington, it means you and me. It means WE, all of us. Now let us consider the following:

Our political system exists because God allows it to, not because He necessarily endorses it.

We should never replace God with government, because terrible things happen, as we can all attest to these days.

There is only one party that is right and that is the party that is doing what God's Will declares, and I haven't seen a campaign button for that party yet.

Stop putting down the president and start praying for him and for all government officials. Don't you realize that God has placed ALL authorities over you? If some authority is doing wrong and your life is not at peace that can only mean one thing, you haven't been praying for them. So when you point your finger at President Obama, just remember, you're singling yourself out as the one who is really to blame.

Government is supposed to be "of the people, by the people, and for the people" (Lincoln's Gettysburg Address). They are to represent us, the "we the people" and as such are OUR servants in governing. A cursory look at the Bill of Rights (the first 10 Amendments to our constitution) prove this to be true. Over time we have gone from a nation that reveres God and works to get the things we need to a nation that feels like the government owes us, and we have no more room for God. So God in His infinite wisdom has sent us into a kind of exile. He has given us leaders who will drive us back to Him or we will cease to be a nation.

Various political parties are needed. No single party has all the answers nor should be allowed to run the show. No single party has the right to attack another party. One of the biggest reasons we are going backwards faster than a squirrel that got knocked into the Niagara and gone over the falls is that our party system is so busy fighting itself it has no time to address the needs of this nation. There needs to be diversity, yes, but within that diversity there must be unity.

Lastly, our King is God, not the president or anyone else. If we deny Him His place in our social structure He will deny us the blessings He wishes to give us. More than that we can expect to come under His wrath.

So the question is, dear pilgrim, where are you going to go from here? Are you going to accept God as your King, move to unite this nation, pray for it's leaders, and for yourself, or are you going to follow the other critters as they run off the cliff into the abyss? The choice is yours.

"If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land." (2nd Chronicles 7:14)

Unity in the Vine


In John 15 Jesus tells us that He is the Vine and we are the branches. Most of us glance over this text as one of those nice little stories Jesus told when He was on earth. There is so much in this portion of Scripture it's incredible, but let's go back to how God got ahold of me and pointed me in this direction.

One night when I couldn't sleep God showed me a tree. All the branches had been cut off and lay at the base of the tree. Although the tree itself was strong, the branches were going to whither and die. Then I heard the Lord say, "This is My church. Unless they be grafted back into My Son they will be cast out." Not only was this a strong message to my spirit, but I noticed that there was not a single branch on the tree. This concerned me, because although I may not be properly grafted into Jesus I was sure that someone was. So I asked God why all the branches were cut off. God spoke clearly to me, "This is so that NO ONE can say this message is not for THEM."

Get the picture? No? Okay, now look at John 15:1-8. If we replace Vine for Tree in my vision we come up with THE SAME EXACT PICTURE. The same thing Jesus was telling His disciples He is telling us today. The really terrible thing is that we are so convinced that this has to do with someone else that we gloss over it and don't get the message at all. In Philippians 2:12 we read, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. " Don't be worrying about the other guy or gal. Start worrying about your own salvation. Get serious with God. Secure yourself in Jesus, or you WILL be cast out. I didn't say that, Jesus did. I'm not making things up here, but just repeating what our Lord has already taught us.

So what does all this have to do with Unity in Christ? In John 15:2,4,5 and 7 Jesus makes it clear that He is the one who gives life to the branch and fruit for the harvest. We are just branches. As branches I want you to think, have you ever seen 2 or more branches that were identical? Then why are we so bent on getting people to conform to our idea of what being a Christian means? Why are we telling people what they can and cannot wear, what the can and cannot do? Sure there are some things that are wrong, Biblically wrong, but do we have the right to enforce a certain set of rules or laws on others? Remember, we are just branches, Jesus is the Vine, and the Father is the Husbandman of the vineyard. When we go to church we say we are going to God's house. If it is HIS HOUSE, then how come we demand that people follow OUR RULES. I don't know what kind of home you had growing up, but in my home my parents made the house rules. If my dad said something it was law in the home. My brother could say anything he wanted and I could accept or reject it as I saw fit, but I could not do so with what my father laid out for us. I could not reject his rules. Neither can we reject our Father's "house rules", nor can we impose on one another our own rules.

I had a friend who had some grape vines. I can tell you this, every branch was different. Some bore fruit, and never the same amount, never all arranged the same, never even in the same way. Some branches seemed to have just leaves and tendrils that lashed the vine to the lattice. These also were different, not just from the fruit bearing branches, but from one another. And yet the whole vine worked together. Tendrils held the vine close to the lattice and helped the branches with leaves to be in a better position to receive light. The branches with leaves provided shade for the grapes on the fruit bearing branches and would follow the sun throughout the day. Above they soaked up the light of the sun, below they protected the grapes from the intense heat. What we are, in Christ, are branches in Him, the True Vine. Not one of us is exactly like any other, and yet we are all to function so that the Vine produces fruit. Reading beyond verse 8 we find Jesus talking about a law of love. If His love is not pouring through you then you better check your connection with Him. If you are finding fault with others then perhaps you better look into the Word of God and let Him show you what YOU look like, and how YOU should change.

If we want to be One in Christ, as Jesus prayed (John 17) then we must learn to love as He loves. He put you and me before Himself and went to the cross. You and I have the tendency to get upset when someone cuts us off in traffic. That is NOT Christ-like, is it? God has called you to be a branch in His Vine, but He never calls anyone to be like anyone else. So accept one another as God has made us as we are. Then let the love of God pour through His Vine and up into us. For only in doing so can we produce fruit. If we are not producing fruit for God then we are not letting His love flow through us. We are cut off from the Vine. If that is the case we have more to fear than the long-haired kid with tattoos that tried to get in the church door. (The nerve of him). Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost. So if you get to thinking that someone isn't quite up to par for your little group of Christians then chances are your little group of Christians don't even know who God is. "Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for GOD IS LOVE." (1st John 4:7,8)

Psalm 23