The True Vine Part I

The following begins a series of blog posts adapted from a Pure Life Young Adults Bible study delivered on January 9th 2015

“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.” John 15:1-3

In this passage Jesus is teaching His disciples by using symbolic language, and he introduces the symbol of pruning. Now the original audience would’ve at least had a reference point for this kind of analogy because they were living in a very agrarian culture. That means that vineyards, pruning and vinedressers were all things that they probably had some kind of experience with. But for us who don’t have that experience, we could probably use a little help to make sense of Jesus’ teaching here.

Continue reading The True Vine Part I

How To Comfort A Troubled Heart

A recap of our previous Bible study – January 2nd, 2015

And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here. John 14:29-31

How do we comfort our troubled hearts? Consider the situation of the disciples in our text tonight. They were just told by Jesus that there is a disciple among them who was going to betray Him! He also makes it clear to them that He is about to leave them. They could not understand how these things could be. Do you think their hearts were troubled? Totally.

Let’s look at seven things that Jesus tells his disciples to comfort them. These seven things can be appropriated to us as disciples of Jesus, and we too can take comfort in these daily.

Continue reading How To Comfort A Troubled Heart

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Made For God

“God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself.

A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself.

He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.”

C.S. Lewis

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Apply It

If you haven’t read our recap of last week’s Bible study yet, you should. Consider what we learned and how you might apply it to your life. One practical application is in the area of personal devotional time.

We learned last week that God has given us the Holy Spirit to live in our inner most being and that we can have amazing closeness to God because of His gift.

The video below explains ways that we can live this closeness to God every day through reading the Bible and prayer. It brings together powerful illustrations and practical advice to help us live what we have been learning. Check it out!

May the wind of God blow so that the words of God landing upon my soul become a flame of affection for Him.
– Ben Stuart

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Closeness With God

Bible Study Recap - Friday, December 26th, 2014

We opened with these questions: As Christians how do we make it through trials? Do we pretend as if nothing phases us? No, but instead we prioritize the eternal perspective. This is the greatest peace a human being can have.

We were reading John 14:19 and onward, where Jesus promises His disciples life, His peace 14:27, to send the Holy Spirit 14:26 and closeness to Him John 14:20.

There are great benefits associated with having the Holy Spirit, He is called a comforter, advocate and enabler. Remember that without the indwelling of the Spirit in this life, you will be devoid of the Spirit in the next. But how do we know if we have the Spirit of God? This is an immensely important question to ask our selves Romans 8:9.

Continue reading Closeness With God

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Staying in the Word

Here is a great post from Matt Smethurst at The Southern Blog. It outlines a few words of advice for enthusiastic disciples who want to consistently be in God’s word. The post is titled “How not to read the Bible in 2015“. Although the title and headlines are all phrased negatively, the post is packed with positive counsel to help keep you from getting discouraged in your Bible reading. Here are the five tips presented:

  1. Don’t Overextend
  2. Don’t Do It Alone
  3. Don’t Just Do It Whenever
  4. Don’t Live as if Paul Lied
  5. Don’t Turn a Means of Grace into a Means of Merit

For an explanation of each point, read the whole post at The Southern Blog: How not to read the Bible in 2015

Reasons to Read Through The Bible

“Christianity is, at its core, based on divine revelation. One of the most breathtaking and astonishing claims in Christian theology is that God has made Himself known.”

Check out this post from The Village Blog about why a Christian should consider reading through the Bible as a resolution for the coming year.

“God uses the Bible to feed us. Jesus has given His Word to the Church in order to provide nutrition to His people, like a shepherd provides green grass and water for his flock.”

The post gave five good reasons to consistently read the Bible and complete it. Read all of them at The Village Blog: Read the Entire Bible in 2015

Pure Life Conference November

Some memories from our most recent Pure Life conference that we had on November 15th. It was truly a blessed time. Looking forward to our next one!

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The Abundant Life

The Thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

The human heart was created for more than just pumping blood through our bodies. If life consisted of merely being alive biologically then the vast majority of people in this world would find total satisfaction in simply appeasing the appetites of the flesh; food, drink, sex and play would give us all that we need. The problem is that none of these things satisfy. In fact, apart from Christ, these things actually seem to make our situation worse. As we indulge more and more in the appetites of the flesh we find ourselves being less and less satisfied with our lives. Continue reading The Abundant Life

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The Hour is now Pure Life

I wonder how a letter like this should begin…

For starters, The Hour, which has been such a blessing and touched literally hundreds of lives is giving way to Pure Life Young Adults. Why the change? It’s a good question. Wasn’t “The Hour” good enough? Of course! What God is doing at Downey is not limited to the title in which we refer to it; the Young Adults are simply getting another focus of direction.

Continue reading The Hour is now Pure Life

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