The  Fruitful  Vine

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

The Time is Far Spent                                    by Jeannie Kirkpatrick
The Continuing Story of Grandfather Oak...   by Jeannie Kirkpatrick

The Time Is Far Spent

Beloved! The Time is Far Spent. It is Time to Press In!
The Lord is uttering His voice before His people

"Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways." Haggai 1:3-5

Beloved, the day is far spent. "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." John 4:35

"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." Romans 13:11-12

"Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezekiel 18:31

"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." I Thessalonians 5:5-6

"And the LORD shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations." Joel 2:11, 1 & 2

Beloved, we need to become as Paul, who declared, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,." Philippians 3:14. The word press in means "to flee, to follow after, to run swiftly in order to catch a thing, to press on, as one who runs the race to reach the goal".

The time is far spent, the time of our salvation, our total deliverance is at hand. Now is not the time to become comfortable in our walk with the Lord. Isaiah warns us:

"Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech." Isaiah 32:9

The woman represents the church today which is at ease. Many who were once on fire for the Lord have sat back on their lees. Complacency and apathy have replaced perseverance, determination, and a total desire to press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Isaiah continues:

"Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins." Isaiah 32:11

There should be a trembling in the heart of those who are at ease. Instead complacency has replaced their zeal for God. Ezekiel also saw the deplorable state of God's people today, and declared: "And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her. . .:" Ezekiel 23:42

Today as we consider our ways, have we become part of the multitude who are in the valley of decision? The time is indeed far spent. It is time to flee, follow after, and press in to God's perfect will in our lives. Luke warns those who are to flee:

"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto." Luke 21:28,21

Beloved! Look up! Flee to the mountains, the Spiritual realm of God. For in Him alone is safety from the coming storm. Have we become as the servant Matthew warned us about?

"But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 24:48-51

Beloved! The wrath of God lies directly ahead of us. Be not as the hypocritical play actors who justify their every decision and their backsliding ways. It is time to press in. If we, as Paul, are to press towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus we must put off complacency and apathy.

There are three places we, as God's people can be as the time comes to flee into the hands of God. We can be out of God's will. We can be in God's permissive will. We can be in God's perfect will.

Beloved! Which of these places are you dwelling? Have you gone backwards and become as one who no longer presses in, as the Psalmist says, "Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one, Psalm 53:3. Paul addresses those out of God's will also:

"They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Romans 3:12

Have you become an unprofitable servant? Have you become lukewarm, resting at ease, in a comfortable place, willing only to remain in God's permissive will? In the book of Revelation, John warns the church who desire to remain in God's permissive will:

"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:" Revelation 3:14-17

If we remain in God's permissive will, we are going to miss the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. We must go on, there is no stopping off place. Beloved, now is the time to press in to God's perfect will if we expect to enter His Kingdom. Both the rebellious child completely out of God's will and the lukewarm believer who chooses to remain in God's permissive will is destined to remain outside the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, bitterly crying, "Lord, Lord, open to us". But the Lord said, "Verily I say unto you, I know ye not". Matthew 25:11-12.

Beloved, if we are to enter the Kingdom of God we must press in. There is no going back. There is no remaining in our comfortable place. We must determine with our whole body, soul, and spirit to go forward. Are you willing to say as our example Jesus. . . "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work. For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me." John 4:34 and John 6:38

Consider your ways! ". . .be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." Matthew 25:13.

The day is far spent! Look up for your redemption draweth nigh!
Now is the time to press in! As given to Jeannie Kirkpatrick

The Continuing Remembrances of Grandfather Oak, Part 8

Little Oak, I promised to tell you about the altar Abraham built beneath the `Oak of Weeping' on the mountain ledge between Bethel and Hai.

"O yes, Grandfather, please go on. . ."

As I shared with you before, Abraham was known throught the land of Canaan for the altars he built. Their landmarks were ever before the people in the land, and I suppose many wondered about their significance.

Little Oak, listen to the prayer my ancestors have handed down to me concerning Abraham's humble prayer beneath the Oak of Weeping. ". . . O Father, I humbly come and kneel before you, the One True God. I truly thank you for bringing me to this place in my sojourning in the land of Canaan. And I pour out my soul to you here at this altar beneath the Oak of Weeping. O Father, I feel such a kinship between myself and the pitiful sight of this tree."

With tears Abraham poured out his heart, "It was very hard for me to leave the Ur of Chaldees and all its comforts. But you caused the city to come mightily against me, causing me to flee. When I was going through this it was hard on all of us, but praise God you spoke to our hearts and gave us the promise we would become a great nation. Again in Haran, it was almost impossible for me to leave my parents, but praise God you gave the promise of this new land to our posterity.

"O Father, let me speak yet more. It was one of the most difficult things I have had to face as we entered the plains of Moreh at Sichem and saw the giants in the land, and knew we had to do battle against them. Yes, we learned to overcome their deceptions, and yes we became strong in our fight against the inhabitants in the land at Moreh. But just when things were getting better, you began to stir our hearts to leave our protected surroundings again." Abrahan continued his heartfelt cry, "I know, too, Father we declared to all we are but sojourners in this land and it is our total desire to be in your will, but the way is so hard sometimes. Must we always move on to harder and harder places to overcome? It seems here, too, especially here in this harsh mountain, we will again be forced to endure many difficult learning experiences.

"O Father, I come before you for my whole household and all those who dwell within our tents. I lay my life on this altar and I lift up my willing heart to you in total submission. Give us strength to endure your chastenings. Help us, O Father, to press on into the continuing, narrow walk you desire for us. Help us always to keep this song in our hearts for the days ahead. . ."

I will make of thee a great nation
And I will bless thee, and make thy name great
And I will make of thee a great nation Refrain
And thou shalt be a blessing.

And I will bless them that bless thee,
And curse them that curseth thee
And in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Refrain again
     Genesis 12:2-3



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