by Dr. Charles Stanley
Monday September 19, 2005
Abiding in Christ
As believers, we know that the cornerstone of our faith is focus on Jesus Christ. Yet many of us find ourselves working overtime to please God through our good works and righteous behavior. Spiritual and physical burnout is the inevitable result. People are not meant to live the Christian life in their own strength.
Scripture tells us to abide in Christ, just as a branch connects to the vine. Believers who abide in the Lord no longer exist for themselves, but rather live for Him. Then we cease striving after righteousness and instead submit to God, allowing Him to live His life through us. In this way, the strength and energy that characterize the life of Jesus Christ become ours.
As we yield our entire being to God and abide in Christ, He conforms our thoughts to His will and purpose—our minds and bodies are prepared for service in His kingdom. God has a valuable role for everyone committed to doing His work.
Too often we become ensnared by the question, "What does God want me to do?" We wait for an answer, refusing to act until He responds. But obediently abiding in the Lord does not mean we sit around soaking up Scripture while doing nothing. Instead, we trust Him to guide us, leading us into the world to do what needs doing, whether it's teaching a Sunday School class, visiting the sick, or sharing our faith with the commuter riding with us on the train every day. These righteous acts aren't designed to earn God's approval; rather, they are the natural outworkings of a Christ-abiding life.
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