Rest and the Vine

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Me:
Good morning Jesus!

Jesus:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
I am grateful for some time off of work to rest and to be able to concentrate more on time with You!

Jesus:
If you would recognize that I have offered to help you with the burdens of your work and bring them to Me more, you would not be so much in need of rest.  The notion that you have the primary responsibility for it all is the world’s notion and you have been programmed with it thoroughly.  It is contrary to the principle of a branch abiding in the vine.  All the life-giving strength comes from the vine.  The leaves of the branch support transpiration, giving the moisture in the sap some place to go.  All this works in the environment that I designed: sunshine and rain and richness of soil.  You know, this process in a plant is a parallel of the process of you learning of Me and growing in understanding.

Me:
How so, Jesus?

Jesus:
The branch is tiny at first.  A mere tendril sprouting from the main trunk of the vine.  It abides in the vine and is nourished, receiving from the vine everything it needs to grow.  As it grows, it is able to take more and more of what the vine supplies.  The branch provides the place for fruit to develop and acts in concert with the vine.  It is part of the whole.  The undeveloped branch does not possess the capacity to carry all the fruit requires.  Nor does it have the physical strength to support the weight of the fruit.  If it abides long enough in the vine, though, it develops both the capacity and the strength to bear fruit.

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
 For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her
. [Proverbs 3:13-16]

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
[Proverbs 9:10]
Me:
Thank You Jesus!  I love You!
Jesus:
You’re welcome! I love you!
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The Spirit of Christmas Past

20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”
declares the Lord.

21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 59)

Me:
Good morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
It never ceases to amaze me, Holy Spirit, the sight that You gave to the prophet Isaiah, concerning the coming of Jesus. Last night, we read dozens of passages in Isaiah for our traditional lesson and carol service. Some are almost like they were written at the same time as the Gospel of Luke, though I know they preceded the virgin birth by probably 700 years.

Holy Spirit:
What is seven hundred years to Me? I Am One who is eternal, without beginning and without end.

Me:
You are always amazing in all Your works! I think the thing that is hard to grasp is Isaiah’s willingness and ability to listen to You and to hear so faultlessly.

Holy Spirit:
That is the primary qualification of a prophet.

Me:
Still, I have the scriptures to test what I hear from You and all the New Testament and the benefit of the salvation wrought by Jesus on our behalf. Whereas, Isaiah was only looking forward to the incarnation.

Holy Spirit:
I Am not constrained by time. We have talked about how Jesus’ sacrifice is not constrained by time either. It is the fact that the words of the law and the prophets, which became the scriptures, point to the cross and the desire of God to save that enabled all who would seek and listen to prepare their hearts to receive. The apparent constraint of their lives being in time before the incarnation of the Christ is no hindrance. The true difficulty is lack of faith and an unwilling heart clinging to its sin.

Me:
Oh, Holy Spirit, there is so much that has been beyond me. Trying to grapple with the concept of time and Your freedom from it boggles my mind.

Holy Spirit:
That is why your salvation, and in fact, all your relationship with Us is based on faith and not on understanding. A child can love his mother before he is capable of understanding all that he will eventually come to know about her. Your relationship with Me is like that, and will remain so on this side of the grave. In the end, the limitations imposed on you by the ravages of sin will be swept away and you will know Me face to face.

Me:
I look forward to that, Holy Spirit. Yet, at the same time, I cannot shake the apprehension that accompanies contemplation of the end of my days. Is that a lack of faith?

Holy Spirit:
Do not worry about that. You only feel the sense of self-preservation that I built into all. It is primarily there to counter the evil whispers of the deceiver that either recklessness or suicide are answers to anything. As a woman is prepared for birth during the months of pregnancy, so those who are Mine are prepared for the end of their days, when it is time.

Me:
Then I thank You for being spared the struggles of some in that regard, and I ask You to shine Your light on them and fill them with the knowledge of Your majesty and their hearts with Your Joy! I love You! Thank You for speaking with Me! What a treasure this time is! What a great gift to know You and to be known by You!

Holy Spirit:
You are certainly welcome! This relationship with you is My desire and I place more value on it than you can know. I love you!