Article # eight: Words
J E S U S : 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)
Because nothing is more important to a christian than knowing how to get prayers answered, and because answered prayers glorify the Father, we listen again to the words of Pastor Jesus: “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
Two requirements must be satisfied to get a response from heaven to your requests:
Condition # 1: You must abide in Christ.
Condition # 2: Christ’s words must abide in you.
In this article we focus on the second requirement. Regarding spiritual matters, it is possible the words of many abide in you. Some of those words are beautiful, some ugly. The beautiful are genuine, the ugly are false. The beautiful set free, the ugly bring bondage. True words originate from “the true vine”; false words come from false vines. You are responsible for the words abiding in you.
J E S U S : You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (John 15:14)
And you are the world’s friend if you do whatever the world entices. You are the friend of god custom and god tradition if you do whatever they command. You are your friends’ friend if you do what they want.
The branch can know what vine she is attached to by considering whom it is she obeys. One can easily determine whose disciple he is by the words he cherishes.
False vines speak (and write) false words. Many counterfeit words indicate many counterfeit vines. The pharisees, leaders of many, typify the false vine. Today there are many false vines out there beyond evangelical circles. And within.
It is false words of false vines that keep the evangelical congregation in apathetic weakness. A crossroad is the time when an accepted false word is confronted by a true word. Three examples:
Crossroad # 1: Mr. and Mrs. Average have for years called John Smith “Pastor,” just like everyone else, and refer to him as “our pastor.” One day they learn there is no scriptural precedent for such a practice, that it is an insult to Jesus to call a man Pastor because He, Jesus, is the sole pastor of His flock. But if they stopped calling John Pastor John John would certainly take offense, and it is self-defeating to offend the very hub of church life.
Crossroad # 2: “Pastor” John announced from the pulpit tithing to the church will now be a requirement for membership. Until now the Averages gave half of their donations to the church and half elsewhere including missionary friends overseas. They had heard both sides of the tithing argument and have serious reservations with the requirement of giving ten percent of their combined income to the local assembly. However, if they lose their membership they will sink to second-rate adherent status.
Crossroad # 3: The Averages feel qualified and stirred to teach a Bible course in their home. Should they seek the pastor’s blessing or just obey the leading of the Spirit? Suppose they ask his permission and he says no? Suppose he says yes but dictates what the lessons should be?
Three crossroads (three of many), three decisions. This is no small matter. The spiritual future of the Averages will be affected by choices made. Their choices will determine their lord.
If Mr. and Mrs. Average really are average they will call the man Pastor John, tithe, and seek his permission and blessing. Such decisions will cause the connection between these two branches and “the true vine” to be weakened while strengthening their attachment to a false vine. The words of another will abide in their hearts. Prayer power will diminish.
And while denying Christ they will deny denying Christ. (“The heart is deceitful above all things.”) Compromise makes the slope more slippery.
But the Averages don’t have to be average!
Again, the Averages don’t have to be average!
Anyone can set their will to obey the words of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the enabler, and He will enable those who choose to follow Christ. Yes, there is a cost, a heavy one perhaps, but the cost is minuscule compared to eternal rewards forthcoming.
The Averages can bear much fruit, walk an adventurous walk with Jesus, experience the miraculous. They can accomplish, with and through Christ, their divine calling. They can know the Master.
J E S U S : Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Mat. 5:11,12)
The door of escape from bondage to man is repentance. The temptation is to excuse oneself, appropriate a victim mentality, blame the pastor, the system, or anything that moves and breathes. Though there have been adverse influences in all of our lives, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
J E S U S : When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. (John 16:13)
L a r r y J o n e s : The Spirit of God is continually leading into all truth. He never rests. He never stops leading. He is always teaching. The one who doesn’t arrive at truth is the one who refuses to be led, to be taught. No man will be able to stand before God and say, “Excuse me, Lord, I didn’t know,” because He could well reply, “You didn’t know because you refused to be taught. You refused to be taught because you preferred deception. You preferred deception because you loved another more than Me.” (A Catholic No More)
C h a l l e n g e : The only one stopping you from entering deeper into Christ is you. You are responsible for you. You will give an account to Jesus for choices made. Whose words will steer your life? To which vine will you be attached? (May God richly bless you!)
P r a y e r : Jesus, so many words! So many vines! So much deception! Help us, Lord! Cause us to be filled with Your Spirit. Cause us to embrace Your profound words! And Jesus Christ, anoint this message! (And hopefully the reader says, “Amen!”)