“4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me.
5 I am the Vine, you are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:4-6
Developing in the Lord requires continuing in the Lord…continuing in HIS Prescribed Order of Victory of faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 40 days of purpose, 21 days of fasting or 12 steps may indeed cast forth a branch but it is a branch that is withered and will be cast down.
“3 Know you not, that so many of us as were Baptized into Jesus Christ were Baptized into His Death?
4 Therefore we are buried with Him by Baptism into Death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His Death, we shall be also in the likeness of His Resurrection:” Romans 6:3-5
At Salvation we are planted with Jesus; planted in His Death…planted there where the penalty of sin was paid for the believing sinner and where the power of sin was broken for the believing Saint. Being planted with Jesus in His Death, we must REMAIN planted with Him if we also wish to be in the likeness of His Resurrection. Venturing off into the various methods offered by the religious cause the branch to wither.
Sadly, there are many withered branches. Those who are spiritually defeated. Even more sadly, there are even more of those who can’t wait to gather them and would cast them into the fire themselves if so allowed. Little do they know, they too are a rotten stick whose fruit stinks of self righteousness.
“21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Jude 1:21-23
Instead of reaching UP to pull that withered branch down into the fire, why don’t we pull them out of the fire with fear and trembling.
The Cross of Christ is and was for whosoever will believe. It is at Calvary, that Jesus Christ paid the price for victory over sin. Point them to the Author and Finisher of their faith as we too continue looking unto and maintain our faith in the Cross of Christ Jesus…abiding there in bringing forth fruit unto GOD as only HE can produce.
-Donna Clark Warren