Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 16, 2014
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
There is a sequence to follow in our service to God. Ministry begins by first being ministered to by our heavenly Father. He heals our hurting heart, so we are able to apply the ointment of His grace to other bruised souls. His Spirit gives us life so we can engage other lives with the Lord’s energy. A tender touch by Jesus in our prayer closet precedes our prayers for others. Prayer bears much fruit when we first bare our souls to God in confession, repentance and praise. Indeed, our being prepares us for our doing. Our remaining in Christ qualifies us to remain fruitful for Him.
Otherwise, if ‘being’ is left out of the calculus of our conduct, the summation of our activities equals zero. We can do nothing apart from our abiding in Christ and His words abiding in us. This is why we muse over God’s word. Repetition of truth should seep into our soul and transform our behavior. Our service without surrender to Jesus only leads to a spiritual stall. Just as a finely tuned car engine will lock up without motor oil, so is a soul without the abiding anointing of the Lord’s presence. Remaining in Jesus positions us to remain faithful to Jesus.
“My fruit (Wisdom’s) is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver” (Proverbs 8:19).
Has your character kept up with your success? Is your motivation for learning to apply the fruit of wisdom from God? A life of faith is more concerned about what it becomes over what it accomplishes. If our inner drive is from selfish ambition we only draw attention to ourselves, but if our heart’s desire is to glorify God, we reflect any accolades back to Him. Christ is the source of our strength, the foundation of our faith, the harbinger of our hope and the reservoir of our love. When the baseline of our being is in Christ, the potential for our doing is exponential.
Yes, by God’s grace do something great in God’s Kingdom. Do good deeds rooted and grounded in the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Speak words of life that come from the Word of Life. Extend mercy that flows from receiving mercy from the gracious heart of our heavenly Father. Practice patience that is produced by practicing the presence of Jesus. The benefits package for being is unpacked in prayer. We invite the Holy Spirit to harness our holy ambition for Him. The more we depend on Christ’s strength–the less we strive. Yes, our competence comes from God!
“Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep my doing dependent on being in Christ. By faith I abide in Him.
Related Readings: Job 8:11-13; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Romans 10:6-8, 12:3; Philippians 2:13
Post/Tweet today: Our being prepares us for our doing. Our remaining in Christ qualifies us to remain fruitful. #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: 2 minute video, Piper on Abide: http://tinyurl.com/l4upgag
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