“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us.” (Read John 1:1-4).
For a long time I treated the Bible as a self-help book. I would read the instructions given and work as hard as I could to obey them. And I would fail miserably. Then I’d get upset with myself: Why couldn’t I do it? And I would get upset with God: Why wasn’t He blessing my efforts?
One day it dawned on me: it doesn’t depend on my frantic self-efforts to live the Christian life. The Bible is not a self-help book, but a revelation of the Living Word: Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14) He said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing” (John 15:5 Amplified).
A branch in a tree doesn’t worry about staying alive or how much fruit it will bring. It is totally dependent on the sap that comes to it from the tree. As long as it abides in the tree, it will have all it needs to flourish and bear fruit.
We are to be like that branch totally dependent on the Christ-life within us working through us.
How comforting this is when I face a challenge that is beyond me.
“Dear God,” I pray, “You know that in myself, I can’t do this. You said so yourself: ‘without me you can do nothing.’ But Christ in me can do this. Now I depend on him to work through me.”
The result is often amazing: Not only was the thing done, but there was joy in doing it.
Jesus, I am so prone to doing my own thing. Remind me, again and again, that without You I can do nothing, but with You I can do all things
by Helen Grace Lescheid