The  Fruitful  Vine

"Thy wife shall be as a FRUITFUL VINE by the sides of thy house." Psalm 128:3a

Occupy Till I Come                            by  D.  Spearman
Computers                                         by  B.  Baker


By D.  Spearman

"And as they heard these things, He added and spake a parable, because He was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And He called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come." Luke 19:11 - 13

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is wait: Wait for a phone call; wait for an answer to an application; wait in the waiting room at a hospital; wait on the Lord. The crowd Jesus was speaking to thought the kingdom of God should IMMEDIATELY appear. But there was a waiting period. Not all things are delivered overnight. The parable that follows these scriptures is about the servants that were given 10 talents and were told to "occupy" until the nobleman returned.

The word "occupy" actually means to carry on a business of a banker or trader - like an investor. It is an accomplished deed or fact. Occupy is the Greek word pragmateuomai, which is similar to the word pragmatic. Pragmatic means dealing with facts or actual occurrences, being practical in an active sense rather than just thinking about it. Being practical means to be governed or to gain something through practice or action rather than theory, speculation, or ideas; When you combine all of these meanings, the nobleman told them; "Invest, do something practical with my money. Don't just think about how you are going to do it, DO IT! Carry on, don't drop the ball; don't wonder about it. Continue doing something with what I gave you until I come back!"

When Jesus left the earth, He left us something to invest. He gave Himself, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. We are to OCCUPY till He comes, investing Jesus, the Word and the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are to MAKE CHANGE in our lives; continuing in the things that Jesus spoke of so when He returns, there will be an increase in our lives.

Peter explains a lot about the idea of investment; "Grace and peace be MULTIPLIED; ...give all diligence to ADD to your faith...; if these things be in you and ABOUND ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you ABUNDANTLY into the everlasting kingdom; we have also a MORE sure word of prophecy." All of these are terms which mean increase. When we invest the things of God, we make an increase for God that is beneficial to us.

Two servants made up their minds to do just what they were asked. They didn't worry about how they were going to make that talent increase, they went right to work. They were practical not speculative. They didn't hide anything; they went right to the market with their talents. They didn't just stop there, they continued to invest until they had received a large sum. We, too, are to continue to invest, we are not to stop, and we are definitely not to hide what was given to us because of fear. The third servant who received ten talents did nothing with his talents. When he was asked why, his answer was;

"And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine." Matthew 25:25

The one servant that received the talent said he didn't do anything because he was afraid. Why - I don't know, since when you are afraid of someone you usually do what they want. But I do know that sometimes we do not do what God wants because we are afraid. We hide what He gives us and we refuse to continue on - just like the slothful servant. We think God is a vengeful God and if we do not do this thing right we might upset Him or make things worse. So, we sit and wonder and worry and do nothing. Maybe that's how this servant felt. Maybe he didn't want to risk a bad investment. The nobleman had faith that he could increase, but the slothful servant didn't have enough faith so he failed. He had no hope of coming out a victor, because he was afraid of trouble. We must not give up! We must occupy continually. Not only for own benefit, but for an example to others like Paul suggests;

"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22

Sometimes the only way we increase is through tribulation. This doesn't appeal to anybody that I know of, but it is needful. If we are afraid to invest now, how do you think we will feel when we are condemned for our slothfulness?

"And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; " Colossians 1:20 - 23

We are not to move away from our hope, we must continue investing in it. The increase we obtain is "Christ in us the HOPE of glory", (Colossians 1: 27). Colossians 1:23 carries a condition: IF we continue something will happen. To understand the "if" in this scripture, let's go back over verses 20 to 22. They talk about the fullness of the Father and being reconciled back to the Father. At one time we were alienated and enemies, but now we are to be presented holy and unblamable and unreproveable in God's sight. We will be this reconciled, unblamable, and unreproveable creature if we continue in the faith and are settled. We are to be determined to invest and increase what the Lord has given us. We must have faith that the Father knew what He was doing when He intrusted us with His wealth. We have the hope that He will give us the best way to invest - accomplish - do - and put to use the anointing in our lives.

"Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer." Romans 12:11,12

Our faith and hope start to die out if we do not continue in the things listed above. When we grow weary of waiting, our faith turns to doubt, our hope to disillusion, and our investment is neglected. We begin wondering:

" ...where is the promise of His coming? for since the Fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." 2 Peter 3:4

"Behold, they say unto me, Where is the Word of the Lord? let it come now." Jeremiah 17:15

We can be such an impatient people. The Lord assures us that His Word which has been preached for ages will come to pass when the time is right. If we are continually investing diligence, service, patience, and hope toward our walk with God, it will become easier to wait.

The nobleman went into a far country. They had no idea when he would return. But they had to occupy until he came back. Two of the servants chose to occupy themselves wisely doing just what they were asked to do, one was very foolish. He had time to repent of his slothfulness and do something with the talents, but since there was no sudden consequence for his actions, he saw no reason to change.

"Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Ecclesiastes 8:11

In these times of prosperity and plenty, it is hard to visualize the judgment that is coming on the earth. Just because we do not see a quick judgment, it does not mean that it is not coming. We become complacent, self-satisfied with a sense of smugness.

Just as the nobleman returned from the far country and inquired of the investments that were made , Christ Jesus will return and ask us to give account of the talents He left for us to invest. He will find out who continued on, invested wisely, and received an increase or those who were slothful, complacent, disobedient, or just plain set on doing evil.

God is not delaying His coming, He is right on schedule.

"... Who is that wise and faithful and wise steward, whom His Lord shall make ruler over His household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom His Lord when He cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that He will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, my lord delayeth His coming, and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes." Luke 12:42 - 47

We must continue in the faith, making the correct CHANGE, investing the Spirit and making an increase of God in our lives. When He returns, He will reward those good and faithful servants, but He will also judge the slothful servants and take away what they had and give it to the faithful.


by Bev Baker

Computers, Computers-
They're everywhere!
Data, Discs, much needed software.

Input, output, programs, and chips.
Type "enter" on the keys,
And you get what you need.

Feed "info" in-
Data pops out.
They are a much needed tool
For everyone's house!

I stop and consider
All of these things-
And suddenly an idea starts to ring-

Like a big bell,
going off in my mind-
"I have a computer, that is 'one-of-a-kind'!"

My personal computer,
Is the Spirit of God!
He's easy to learn from,
Not confusing or hard.

All knowledge and wisdom,
Is stored up in Him-
No keyboard is needed,
Or codes to punch in.

All the "info"
That I ever need,
Is mine for the asking-
Sometimes on my knees.

No software, no chips, programs, or discs-
Just a sincere motive is required,
whenever I "inquire".

There is no copy of my personal computer-
For He's special and one-of-a-kind.
And He stays open, for us all to learn from-
But with our hearts, not with our minds.

Mankind reaches way into the vast unknown-
The world of science and invention.
But as for me, I'll stay on my knees-
In the world of prayer and
Holy Ghost Intervention!

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