“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
-Hearing and doing the word of God are inseparable even though most times people neglect the later part. It is said that we are educated far beyond our own obedience. Obedience to the word of God qualifies us as friends of Jesus, according to His word. This chapter speaks of Jesus as the true Vine and calls to abide in Him so that we may become fruitful. When we abide in Christ, we build a closer friendship with Him, our prayers are effective, we glorify Jesus in fruit bearing, we demonstrate our discipleship, our joy becomes full through experiencing Christ’s own joy within us, and we love Jesus more and one another.
You have shown us great love; loving Jesus by laying down Your life for us Your friends. May You teach us to lay our lives for each other through love. Thank You for this day, it is indeed beautiful, we rejoice and are glad in it. We appreciate You Jesus for You died on the cross so that we may be free from bondage of sin. May You forgive us all our trespasses and wash us with Your precious blood. May You renew our minds and anoint us afresh so that we may be doers of Your word and not just hearers. May You help us to abide in You and Your word dear Jesus so that we may bear much fruit, for the glory and honor of Your name. May You make us fruitful in all our plans this year according to Your divine purpose dear Jesus. May Your gift of salvation reach our family members, friends and all the nations so that we may be united with You in perfect love now and forever. Thank You loving Jesus for making us Your friends. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever more. Amen
Further reading: John 15:13-15
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
-We see that; knowledge without practice is imputed to a man as great and presumptuous sin. Ezra prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. Romans 2:13 reminds us that, it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. Further, Romans 14:23 tells us that whatever is not from faith is sin. Therefore, it is through faith that we do the will of God, which causes justification.
You deserve all the glory, and the honor Lord. We praise You dear Jesus for You are good and Your mercies endures forever. We rely on Your righteousness dear Jesus, for only You are good. We humbly come before You dear Jesus asking for Your grace to help us to keep Your word. You are worthy of all our praise and adoration. May we decrease as You increase loving Master. We boldly come to Your throne of grace so that we may gain grace and mercy to help us during our time of need. May You teach us, our children, relatives, friends, leaders, society, churches, nation and the entire world to do Your will. May You heal all those who are sick and suffering. May You deliver those who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography, masturbation, corruption, quarreling, fighting, idolatry, and injustice. May You heal our hearts and transform us to be more like You dear Jesus. May You bless our children in their studies and endeavors, and cause Your face to shine upon them. May You distinguish them among men and before You Lord. May You bless all the children in the world, protect them, provide for their needs and draw them close to You, for all children belong to Your kingdom dear Jesus. We are Your children Lord, may You remember us with favor and grant us peace. May You guide us in all our decisions and actions; precious Holy Spirit. We thank You and praise Your name, now and forever. Amen
Further reading: Romans 5:1, Psalm 119:11
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
-Doing the word of God precedes a blessing. Psalms 1:1-3 tells us that, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” It is very easy for someone to forget what the word of God instructs. It calls for constant meditation, for one to be able to perform the will of God. Christ gave us the law of love, which does not enslave us to the bondage of legalism but frees us from slavery. As we mediate of this perfect law and meditate on our created image and likeness of God, then we look ourselves in the mirror and see Christ, who loves us.
Let the heavens and the earth rejoice in Your name. Let all the people and the nations rejoice in the presence of Your holiness, for You alone are God and You are worthy to be praised. Lord You have blessed us with every kind of spiritual blessing, and made us in Your own image and likeness so that we may represent You here on earth. May Your grace abound in us that we may be the salt and the light of the earth, for the glory and honor of Your name. Lord You have instructed us to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. You have given us dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth. We praise You and honor You dear Jesus. May You bless our leaders and teach them to do Your will. May You give us leaders filled with integrity during this coming election; so that they may govern this nation by Your divine principles; Holy Spirit. May You bless us indeed Lord, and enlarge our territories, that Your hand would be with us, and that You would keep us from evil that may cause us pain. Amen
Further reading: Genesis 1:26-28, 1 Chronicles 4:10
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
-During the sermon on the mount, possibly referring to mountainous regions like Galilee where streams rush down the torrent beds during winter and early spring. He compares two types of builders, one who builds on a firm rocky foundation, and another who builds on sandy ground. The other parable of the builder, Jesus taught regarding calculation of cost and accomplishment of desired plans lest one is mocked (Luke 14:28-30). Ofcourse the business of construction takes time and financial resources, and it is wise to establish a stable foundation, have adequate resources, skilled builders, and good management to succeed. Jesus likens a wise builder to one who evaluates all these requirements to one who hears His word and does them. On the flip side is a foolish builder who wastes time and resources building on sandy and unstable ground. This parable denotes Christ; who is the Word of God, and the firm foundation on whom we should all build our houses. Others have neglected Christ and His word and have placed their confidence on self, fame, money, power, and living carelessly; which is unstable. We are reminded that Jesus Christ is the Door to eternal life and we should all believe in Him and His word, and we will live forever with Him.
Jesus You are the firm foundation, upon whom we stand. You are the Rock and Stronghold upon whom we put all our trust. Some put their trust in horses, others trust in chariots, but we place our trust in You. Only You are our God, and none can compare to You. We choose to build our foundation of our hearts on You, our Savior and Redeemer, we ask for Your mercy and grace. We ask for Your mercy and grace upon our lives, family members, friends, colleagues, congregants, and the entire world, that You may give us the gift of eternal life. Jesus You are the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through You, may Your grace abound in us our Savior. We place our burdens and cares unto You dear Jesus for You care for us. May You ask all our hearts desires and make our plans succeed according to Your will. May You heal all the sick and the hearts of those who are bereaved. May You respond to the needs of the children living in the streets and their families. May You open divine doors for all the orphans, widows and fatherless. May You remember with mercy those who are jobless, those who are seeking promotions, all those who desire new and better business opportunities, that You may bless us and expand our territories. May You open the flood gates of heaven and shower us with Your blessings. All glory, honor, power, praise and grace belongs to You dear Jesus now and forever. Amen
Further reading: John 5:39-40, Romans 6:23
“But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
-The parable of the sower outlines the different conditions of hearts that receive the word of God. The Bible tells us that we should guard our hearts with all diligence for out of it springs issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). The condition of the heart is vital to how one receives the Word of God, and the effect that it makes in one’s life. One group hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, thus the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in the heart. This is the seed that is sown by the wayside. Another group hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet has no root in themselves, but endures only for a while. When tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, they immediately stumbles for the seed is planted on stony hearts. The group that hears the word and is unfruitful, the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke it, and he for the word is sown on thorny ground. The last group hears the word and understands it, receive seed on the good ground and bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Matthew 13:19-23).
Hearing and doing the Word of God is the way to spiritual growth. It is horrid to just hear and not do what the Word of God says. James 4:17 tells us that the one who hears and knows what to do but does not do it, to him it is sin. James previously quotes that the one who hears the Word and not do it is like a person who looks at himself/herself in a mirror and forgets the kind of person he was. When our inner desires correspond to outward enticement, sin is spawned. Hearing and doing God’s word is a personal responsibility, for we are called to resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7). Also it takes the grace of God to do as per His will. Hearing and doing the Word of God has numerous benefits. Firstly, it is accompanied with a blessing (James 1:25, Psalms 1:1-3). Secondly, hearing and doing as per God’s Word causes a closer and more personal relationship with Jesus. John 15:14-15 tells us that, “you are My friends if you do whatever I command you”. Further that, “my mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21). Thirdly, hearing and doing the Word of God rewards with fruit. When one’s heart is well prepared and ready to do as per the word, some bear thirty fold, others sixty fold and a hundred fold (Mark 4:20). Forth, hearing and doing God’s word is a display of wisdom from God. The one who performs the word is compared to a builder who builds upon the Rock who is Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:24-27).
Dear Jesus we thank You, and glorify Your name. Thank You for enabling us to see this beautiful day. It is indeed beautiful and we are in awe of You. We appreciate You Lord for adopting us as Your children and making us Your friends. We thank You Master for You are able and worthy to be praised. May You give us hearts of flesh so that we may hear Your word and do as You instruct us. May Your grace of obedience abound in our hearts so that we may hear Your word and perform Your will. Teach our children, leaders and all people to do Your will. May You protect us from all evil, and be with all the persecuted Christians around the world. May You bless us and keep us Lord. May You shine Your face upon us and be gracious to us. May You turn Your countenance towards us and give us Peace. Amen.
Further reading: Luke 11:27-28, Revelation 1:3