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The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV

You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.

JOhn 15:16 NLT

Falling Short is Still Missing the Mark

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. … But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. … If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

James 4:1-3, 6-8, 17 NIV

Perfecting is a Process

One Branch

  • redeemed
  • called to be fruitful
  • being perfected

The heart of a person is naturally selfish/self-willed and generally within our nation individuals are encouraged to be independent. Certainly people ought to apply themselves to something productive, earn a living, and help others. Some forms of independence are very healthy however independence from God and His goodness (His love, grace, will, word, ways) deprives a person from unity with the source of all that exists. For too many years the inclinations of my heart drove me deeper into sin, unfulfillment, and an unquenchable desire for to satisfy my wants as my top priority. To on-lookers, I would have appeared normal, and by the world’s standards, outwardly I may have even appeared to be good and somewhat successful at my endeavors.

The truth of the matter is that I did not understand pure love and I lived with fear of the end of this mortal life. I knew that there was more than this existence and I had believed there was a God, but I did not know how to rid myself of thoughts and tendencies that were innate. What was worse, I didn’t truly want to change; I just wanted to escape consequences.

One day, God opened my eyes to see the truth of His word and changed my heart so that I was able to desire change and acknowledge I needed the Saviour God had provided. When I “chose” to submit myself to Jesus Christ as my LORD, through His Spirit, Jesus and I entered into a love affair unlike anything I could have imagined. I was delivered from habits that needed to go right away and as I read His Word, my spirit received Godly knowledge that shaped my thinking – I didn’t even understand it deeply as I read it – but it was still effective. It’s been many years now and while I am not the same person I was before my encounter with the LORD, I’m so delighted that God continues to refine me. He has been teaching me that His grace gives me the ability to choose right and excellent actions by His standards although it can be incredibly difficult. The things the world considers not a big deal (grumbling, complaining, being inappropriately unyielding, worrying, etc.) are sometimes the hardest things to stop doing. Yet, when I consider Christ purposely endured torture, ridicule and death on the cross in submission to His Father for the purpose of reconciling whosoever will to the HOPE of eternal life with the source of all goodness, then I realize that temporary trials and troubles are more than just something to overcome. These tests are the things that give God glory when His power to overcome is manifested within me. My prayer is that I will walk humbly with my God in right relationship and to be faithful to His desire for my fruitfulness.

Christ likens Himself to the vine and those who follow Him like branches. The vine is established first and from the vine the branches grow and produce fruit that is useful. This truth is profound especially since my choice to follow Christ stems from Him, His call, His purpose. He chose me first and changed my heart so that I could then choose Him.

Some might think I have been pretty generic about my prior sinful life and really my story is the very similar to anyone who has been redeemed. Which sins did I commit? It no longer matters since Christ’s atonement of everyone’s sins is forever sufficient to cover the penalty of death. The Bible contains numerous accounts of idolaters, murderers, adulterers, liars, thieves, self absorbed, unbelieving, and blasphemous people who were drastically transformed by the love and grace of God. Some of the greatest roles models in the Bible were once numbered among the depraved until illuminated by Jehovah – the LORD.

This site is dedicated to bringing God glory and is designed to praise the worthy Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. It intentionally avoids bringing this previously self-centred person personal attention. Everything I have and am is because of the grace and goodness of God.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT