To the GateWay family
Well done Church!
It was great to see and hear about you praying and fasting during our time in January. God has been speaking into the body but one word that was given that week seems to encapsulate many of the words in such a clear and succinct way (see below).
We have to dig down deeper, the roots need to go down deeper and be able to spread out wider because of the size of the work God wants to do here; which is so much more than we can imagine right now.
As we meditate on what God is saying I can't help but remember the story of the true vine and vinedresser found in the gospel of John.
John 15:1-8 (NKJV) "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me." "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."
God's desire is for us to produce fruit; the recipe seems simple, pruning and abiding! Pruning is where God works on our lives, it is a process of removal!
A vinedresser with his beautiful vines; how he loves his vines and the grapes that they produce. The clusters of grapes are big and full. Yet he knows that he has to cut back if he wants to have good grapes next year. If he leaves it, the stems will grow thinner and smaller. If he does nothing, they will grow weaker and weaker and the stems won't hold the clusters of grapes and become weak. And so he prunes. To the bystander there are more prunings than there is vine that is left – onlookers might think he is killing it. But the vinedresser knows he has done the right thing and next year they will be stronger and better clusters and he also stimulates the root and the root grows stronger.
Abiding, that's our part, staying close to Him, spending time with Him, obeying His direction and correction. I get the picture of John resting his head on Jesus, that intimacy and closeness (John 13:23). The intimacy and closeness that also speaks of dependency and trust.
“because of the size of the work God wants to do here; which is so much more than we can imagine right now.”
God is so gracious. In Paul's letters he talks about pressing on toward the prize (Philippians 3:14). God loves us so much that He sustains us through His process with His hope and expectancy.
Stay close to HIM and allow Him to work on your life, for His glory……… it will be worth it!
God's continued blessings
Pastors Marty & Rebeca