John 15:5-8 NLT "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like and it will be granted! My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father."
Here is the Sunday morning routine: Wake up. Turn on the radio or TV to a gospel or preached word station. Turn on the coffee pot or tea kettle. Stand in the closet thinking about what to wear to church. Take a shower, coif the hair, get dressed. Start heading out the door. "Ooops!" you think, "What do I need to bring with me so I can do the "other stuff" I want to do after church?" Bring a change of clothes/ shoes/ etc. so that I won't go through the mall/ brunch/ dinner/ movies looking like I just left church... Could this be you? (*me: hand raised, looking at the floor in shame)
You've given your life to Christ, but are you living for Him?
Many of us shuttle through life desiring to put a check in each box:
- good job - check
- degree - check
- more degrees - check, check
- nice house - check
- nice car - check
- find a man - check (another topic for another time)
- go to church - check
We have a perceived sense of security in knowing that we have given our lives to Christ by being saved, going to church, maybe even going to bible study during the week. We really feel secure if we are tithing, let me tell you! Paying your weekly installment to get on the list, huh? Not quite ladies. Having things to do AC (after church) is not the problem; but living for all of the other things and not for God is. You must ask yourself "Am I living for Christ?" Do you live and breathe the fire God has placed in your heart or are you on auto-pilot? Have you recognized yet that God has planted in you a seed that he wants to cultivate, till, and prune so that you will bear much fruit? We are reminded of this in John 15:5 "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing."
Let's be clear and honest here, "remaining" in God can be a struggle. Everyday it is work - staying in touch with God and keeping the lines of communication open so that he stays in touch with you - not always easy. But is gets easier every day. You pray to God, you listen to what He is saying to you, and you look out for what He is showing you. He will show you how to live your life better by living for Him. As you accomplish your goals and set out through life you will begin to take advantage of the opportunities God gives you to witness for Him; whether it's at work, at school, in your social circles, or with your family. Be joyous and helpful in God's army! Smile at the lady in your office that is snippy to you. Wave every day to your neighbor who pretends not to see you. Forgive. Open your hand to give. Reach out to others. Allow the power of God's grace to work in you so that others will see and experience His goodness.
God, through Jesus Christ and with the power of the Holy Spirit, gives us assurance and purpose. Profess your faith ladies, you have nothing to be ashamed of!