Have you ever been discouraged that it seemed like your life lacked the fruitfulness you imagined? Have you ever worked hard to serve others, only to feel a frustration of pointlessness?
Could it be that at times we have it backwards? Are we focused more on the work than on Christ who produces the work?
I’ve been reading through the book of John with our Bible study group on Monday nights. It has been refreshing as we’ve seen this gospel’s awesome presentation of Jesus.
What is striking to me is the simple yet profound nature of the book. The over-arching message is this simple: Jesus is the Son of God. Because this is true, believe on Him.
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:31
Though it is simple, many of the statements Jesus made struck the crowds as hard to receive. Jesus claimed that He was the bread of life, the living water, and the light of the world. These were hard for many to understand, but each one spoke to a basic spiritual need that the people had (and we have) that only Jesus can fulfill.
I’m afraid that you and I are often like the crowds that heard Jesus when He was here on earth.
We hear Him say as He did to the disciples, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12) But we bypass the trust and go straight to the works.
We hear Him say to us, as He called out to the crowd, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39)
But we seek to satisfy our thirst with the result of believing on Christ (the ministry to others) instead of drinking of Christ first, which produces the ministry flow to others.
We hear Him say to us, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
But we still insist that our own self effort will bring about the fruit.
Because of the darkness of our hearts, we often forget that without a humble, resting trust in Jesus, we are powerless.
The questions we must ask ourselves today are, “Am I believing on Jesus today that He is the bread of life that will satisfy my heart? Am I resting in Him as the living water that will quench my thirst? Am I trusting Him as the vine that gives me the ability to ‘bear fruit’?”
As we trust Him as everything we need, He works through us to present to the world that He is everything they need.
As you work today, rest in Jesus. Focus on this truth: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.
Are you resting in Christ to work through you today?