by Dr. Charles Stanley
Wednesday December 8, 2004
The Abiding Life
Through His teaching on the vine and the branches, Jesus explained that our relationship with Him is to be characterized by dependence. Branches do not produce good fruit on their own. Their role is to remain connected to the vine and allow its sap, which is its life, run through them to produce fruit. We who are Christ-followers are to "abide" in Christ, and let His life run in and through us to bring forth spiritual fruit. (Galatians 5:22-23) It is the Holy Spirit who brings the life of Christ to us, and also from us to others.
This abiding life is the same as the Spirit-filled life that Paul talked about in Ephesians 5:18. "Abiding" emphasizes our position - the branch remaining in the vine - while Paul concentrated on the Spirit's role in our lives and His authority as the One in charge. Frequently we try to be the "vine," deciding for ourselves what would please God and what would be best for other people. The end result is often disappointing or frustrating because we have used human ideas and energy instead of being Spirit-led. The solution is to become a true branch. There is real freedom when we relinquish control.
God plans for us to experience spiritual peace and joy as we obtain victory in adversity and over sin. To accomplish this, He has given us His Spirit to direct our lives. In order to experience God's best, we must yield to the Spirit's authority and obey His direction. Take time now to do just that.
Need gift ideas? The 2004 In Touch Christmas Catalog is here. Visit the In Touch online bookstore for more information.
Teen Connection is the official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries. Be sure to tell your teen about this cutting-edge web site filled with practical content for teenagers of all spiritual maturity levels. The featured interview for December is best-selling singer/songwriter Bebo Norman. Check out Teen Connection today!