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March 18, 2009

How Jesus Sees Us...

Cottageinthewoods

Greetings, Dear Friends!



And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. 

Each month I give away a $10.00 gift card to someone who posts on my blog. So stop by, leave a comment, bless lots of people, and maybe you'll win a gift card to Starbucks!

Also, just for fun, I'm going to do a little giveaway this week. If you've read one of my books and haven't posted a review on Amazon yet, would you do me a favor and post a review? Then email me letting me know you're review is posted and I'll send you a free copy of one of my books (you choose). If I get an onslaught of takers, I'll have to limit it to about five, but let's see what happens. My publisher loves to see new reviews pop up every once in a while. Here's my email address: [email protected]

Now on to my topic...

This morning during my prayer time I was absolutely struck by the way God sees us. In the Gospel of John, Jesus called Himself the Vine and and referred to us as the branches. 

Vine branches aren't strong and sturdy, they are pliable and bendable. And when they're severed from the Vine, they become brittle and, well, dead. Read this great excerpt from my "Believer's Bible Commentary":

A vine branch has one great purpose - to bear fruit. It is useless for making furniture or for building homes. It does not even make good firewood. But, it IS good for fruit-bearing as long as it abides in the Vine!" (p. 1550).

We were made to bear fruit!

Jesus also called Himself the Shepherd and us, the sheep. 

Sheep are vulnerable, defenseless creatures - and not the smartest animals on the planet. They need the Shepherd to guide them and keep them safe. Jesus said, "My sheep know Me, and they know My voice." Proverbs 9:10 tells us, "Knowing the Holy One results in understanding." The more we know Jesus, the more we understand Him. The more we understand His love, the easier it is to follow Him. 

Just as in the Vine analogy where He cares for the branch, the Shepherd lovingly cares for His sheep. Here's an excerpt from my Bible study notes:

"God's knowledge and love for His children involves personal affection, faithfulness, and constant providential care. WE are engraved on His hands. We are never out of His mind, for God's eye continually watches out for our good." (Life in the Spirit Study Bible - p. 1623).

Jesus also compared Himself to a man going on a journey, entrusting His possessions to His servants. We are those servants. We've been entrusted the priceless message of salvation, freedom, unique gifts and supernatural power to make a difference in our world, and Jesus - in no uncertain terms - makes it clear that He is after a return on His investment in us. He expects us to operate on a basis of increase, not decrease, of advance, not retreat.

So, in summary, we're branches - made for a very specific purpose. We're made to stay closely connected to Him. We're made to bear fruit. We're sheep - we're not always smart and pretty defenseless on our own. Yet, for those of us who follow Him, we're protected, provided for, and we have all of Heaven on our side! We're stewards - we are expected to give God a return on His investment in us. 

We have this priceless treasure in these earthen vessels that we might remember that all of the good things that come from us are because of the power of God within us.

We are utterly dependent on God and yet when we partner with Him, He uses us to change the world.

God sees us as fragile and yet significant beings. Though petty and distract-able at times, we are always priceless to Him. Though we are not built for some things, we are made to bear fruit - lots of it - fruit that will last long after we're gone. 

You and I - human as we can be at times - were made for great things.

Isn't that just simply amazing?

Be encouraged today to know that even on your weak and weary days, you are strong in Him. It's okay to remember your need, in fact, it's essential. You need Him. So do I. But wonder upon wonders, He has already made provision for our need!

Blessings to you this week!

PS ~ If you haven't already signed up for my quarterly E-zine, you might want to! Four times a year I email out a E-zine filled with fun book giveaways from my fellow author friends, devotional insights, great book recommendations, cool quotes, and a prayer to send you on your way. Here's the link to sign up:

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Comments

Dear Doreen,

Thanks for stopping by again! I'm thankful you enjoyed the post. God bless you!

Kathy,

Your 'wild, wooly worker' comment made me smile. And I also loved Cathy's insights regarding the vine.
Bless you!

Dear Cathy,

I LOVED your insights! Thank you for sharing such a descriptive and beautiful application to the vine analogy. And I'm the last person who should even attempt to share gardening insights. I appreciate gardens, I'm just not very good at them. :) Thanks for your post.

Dear Rachel,

First of all, I'm SO sorry to hear about your neck and back pain and your potential surgery! I want to see you healed! Do you know that my son Jordan was miraculously healed of a back injury after six months of major struggle and pain? I blogged about it the summer before last. The blog title is, "God Heals!" May God do the same for you. May He miraculously touch you and completely heal you. Secondly, thank you so much for posting a review on Amazon (and such a nice one). That's such a nice gift to give to an author. You've blessed me today. :) Thank you.

Branches, Sheeps and Stewards--oh my! :) Wonderful topic!! I really am encouraged by your writings.

...branches, sheep, stewards...I guess I am a wild wooly worker!

Great encouragement once again! I love what Cathy wrote about the vines being interwoven into a strong basket! And all the more as we see the day approaching...

Susie, may I add that although vine branches are weak, they can be woven together to form strong baskets and contain wonderful things. I live on a farm where numerous wild cut-throat grape vines crawl high into trees. A friend taught me how to weave those spindley vines together into a basket.

Weak, limp vines who are connected to the branch and each other gain strength. They can be molded into useful vessels, knitted together in Christ, we are both shapable and capable of fruit bearing.

Thank you for the "gardening" encouragement.

Thank you, Susie, for once again reminding me of who I am in Christ. Today I am feeling weary and weak so I am thankful for His strength. As I am dealing with some serious neck/ back pain and potentially facing surgery at only 32 years of age, it is such a comfort to be reminded that He has already made provision for my need. God bless your day!
P.S. I wrote a review on Amazon for your book The Uncommon Woman, but you don't have to send me anything. I'm happy to have the opportunity to review it. Hope it encourages others to buy the book so that it can help them; as it did me.

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