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5.0 von 5 Sternen How to Prepare to Receive from The Prayer of Jabez, 6. Juni 2007
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 122,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
I enjoy hearing what others have to say about the Bible, especially those who have a knowledge of Hebrew. They can gather meanings that are not apparent to me from the plain words in the English translation. I was delighted to find that The Secrets of the Vine focuses on one of the most puzzling Bible stories I have ever read, and expanded my knowledge of what that story means. Through a combination of this new understanding and reflecting on The Prayer of Jabez, I have come to appreciate new choices concerning my relationship to God. That's a great gift, and I feel deeply moved by the experience. I think you will be, too.

After the Last Supper, Jesus took His disciples outside to visit a vineyard in order to teach a lesson. Obviously, this was a most important lesson because it came as the last ordinary conversation they could have together in person. The story is told in John 15.

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1

"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."

"I am the vine, you are the branches."

"He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit."

"By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit."

Bruce Wilkinson does a good job of explaining about viticulture as a way of expanding the meaning of these passages. The vine itself is the bulky gnarly trunk that comes up from the ground and is kept pruned into just a few branches. The branches are tied up to keep them in the air. If they are not tied up, they fall to the ground where dirt and disease will keep them from bearing fruit. The branches must be cut back in order that the vine will produce fruit rather than leaves and new growth. The older the vine gets, the more it has to be cut back to be productive. But the older it gets, the better the grapes can be.

If you have fallen off the wires, God will tie you back up so that you can once again bear fruit. Once there, He will keep you pruned.

The book argues then that much of the time we will feel like we are being disciplined (in a loving way) when we sin or pruned (to become more productive) when we are doing God's work. The book describes how to tell when you are receiving the one versus the other. Both may be painful, but each provides a different lesson.

What I got from this interpretation is that we should focus on how we can better do God's will. Mr. Wilkinson makes a fine point when he says that "we don't really believe God likes us." I often find it hard to imagine why God would be willing to put up with our tiny and incomplete lives. When we overcome that feeling though, we can realize that God wants us to strengthen our relationship with Him first to "deepen the quality of my devoted time with God" and then to "broaden my devoted time" until it is "all the time."

A particular point that was revealing to me was that this means we should spend more time abiding with God and less time doing works. Most of us try to do more and more works. The final pruning causes us to bear more fruit. "If your life bears a lot of fruit, God will invite you to abide more deeply with Him."

I also see this as an invocation to narrow our focus onto God, so that His will permeates our thoughts and actions more thoroughly. Obviously, one action taken through God's will accomplishes much more than all of our actions taken without His will.

As a test of the validity of these thoughts, I was pleased to see that they made my experiences with the prayer of Jabez more vivid and moving. Thinking about this Bible lesson from John 15 also served to expand and sharpen my mental and visual focus. I took these experiences to mean that these messages were redirecting my life. I am very grateful for the experience.

After you have read and prayed upon what you learn from this book, may you find ways to abide more and more deeply with God. God bless you!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen winning on God's terms, 15. Dezember 2003
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Secrets of the Vine: Breaking Through to Abundance (Breakthrough Series) (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Secrets of the Vine walks us through the first half of John 15, where Jesus says, "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser...I am the vine, you are the branches." As Christians we have likely heard this metaphor before, but have we really grasped all that it implies?
Taking slight liberties with the text, Wilkinson introduces us to four distinct stages of a vine bearing fruit: no fruit, fruit, more fruit and much fruit. He expands on each, introducing us to our current stage and offering helpful guidance to propel us toward the "much fruit" category.
The first "secret" talks of God's fatherly discipline that pushes us toward a life that bears fruit. Secret number two is that God the vinedresser will prune us of our selfish desires so we can bear even more fruit. Secret number three involves God's invitation to abide more deeply with Him.
In the words of the author, "...the secrets of the vine reveal how God changes you so that you will become even more useful (fruitful) for His glory."
This little book will help you come to terms with the current struggles you have in your life, and focus your attention on becoming the person God meant you to be. Highly recommended.
Larry Hehn, Author of Get the Prize: Nine Keys for a Life of Victory
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5.0 von 5 Sternen how the sharpest shears can bring the most joy, 5. Dezember 2003
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Secrets of the Vine: Breaking Through to Abundance (Breakthrough Series) (Gebundene Ausgabe)
With Chapter 15 of The Gospel of John as its basis, where Jesus speaks to His disciples about the True Vine and the branches, this marvel of a book uses the imagery of the vineyard to illustrate the spiritual truths of achieving a fruitful life for God. If anyone thinks this book might be about material abundance, it is not...far from it ! In fact, it shows how as part of the pruning process, one might have to let go of those possessions we "hold too tightly".
When the Vinedresser gets out his sharp shears, it feels like tough love, but if we submit, it is a liberating love that brings us the joy of being closer to Him. Chapter 3, "The Best Good News (You Didn't Want to Hear)", outlines the steps of discipline, and Chapter 4, "Love by Degrees", talks about repentance, and much of the following chapters are on that daunting word, "pruning".
"Pruning is how God answers your prayers that your life will please Him more and have a greater impact for eternity" (pg. 60).
In Chapter 5, "A Country Awakening", there is a very useful chart that helps discern whether one is being disciplined or pruned; as often both can be painful, they are sometimes confused, but their purpose and consequence are quite different.
In Chapter 6, "Flourishing Under the Shears", Dr. Wilkinson talks about how we have to submit to the tests of faith, and might have to give up things dear to you, in order to have personal transformation, and a bigger harvest for God.
Chapter 8, "Living in the Presence", is exquisite, and gives the simple steps to the "promise and practice of abiding", an abiding that brings peace and happiness to every day, no matter what the circumstances.
It is a well-made volume with nice quality paper, and nine line drawings of vineyard themes by Vicki Shuck that are lovely, and represent much more than vines and grapes.
Small but very mighty, this book is one of the most important I have read ( I have underlined so many passages, it has almost as much of my ink as print); it has been a powerful blessing in my life, and if you are looking for a "breakthrough" book, this may well be it.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen ihnen befestigt zur normalen christlichen Lebensdauer, 3. Januar 2003
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Secrets of the Vine: Breaking Through to Abundance (Breakthrough Series) (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Ich würde diesen Subtitle Herrn Wilkinson dieses Buch, " vorschlagen, wie man ist zu Hause im Königreich des Gottes.", Diese ausgezeichnete Arbeit nicht zeigt uns bloß auf eine höhere geistige Fläche, aber betraut eher den Leser mit ihnen befestigt zur normalen christlichen Lebensdauer. Ich schlage auch vor: DAS GEBET VON HANNAH durch Kenn Gividen ( The Prayer of Hannah ).
I would suggest that Mr. Wilkinson subtitle this book, "How to be at home in God's Kingdom." This excellent work doesn't merely point us to a higher spiritual plane, but, rather, entrusts the reader with they keys to the normal Christian life. I also suggest: This reviewer is particularly fond of THE PRAYER OF HANNAH by Kenn Gividen
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Secrets of the Vine: Breaking Through to Abundance (Breakthrough Series)
Secrets of the Vine: Breaking Through to Abundance (Breakthrough Series) von Bruce Wilkinson (Gebundene Ausgabe - 29. März 2001)
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