Having resigned myself to being the book-a-holic that I am and with no meaningful twelve step process to assist my cure, on and on I march through the endless bindings and electronic reads… there is no cure. <sigh>
There is however, an available resource for every other desired achievement known to man. I speak of self-help books, no doubt. If you want to do it, someone has provided a manual to make it so.
We are a people bent on self-achievement. Yet, I was reminded yesterday eve once again of the futility of this effort. Instead, we are members of what has been broken since Eden, and any exertion on our part, no matter how seemingly productive, in the end is only vanity.
Why? Because we are helpless. Jesus warned, “Without Me, you can do nothing (John 15:5). Why would this man make such a statement? Doesn’t He see me get up in the morning, ramble off into the work world to gather a day’s wages to make provisions for my family? Doesn’t He see me secure for myself a home and auto and food and clothing and…
Yes, but He would conclude my attitude toward these is just more evidences of my need for Him. He would see a man consumed by the meaningless while neglectful of the urgent.
If I am willing to look beyond the fact that the last breath of air that filled my lungs didn’t belong to me, but to Him, the One who speaks everything into existence, then there’s something of even greater value in our Lord’s depreciative words.
We have a unique offer from the Almighty God of heaven and earth: we can bear much fruit and glorify this Holy God of ours (how neat is that?)! In reality, it’s the only reason we’re here good friends. We were created to enjoy our God and bring glory to His name.
It’s the thing that Jesus wants us to be able to do. It’s the thing that we can’t do without Him. It means becoming more and more like Him everyday.
But then the same friend who brought these words of Jesus to recollection also shared what Jesus does when our lives are surrendered to Him. He gives gifts, we bear fruit… and God is glorified (John 15:8). What kind of gifts does He come bearing? The kind we need most.
As the prophet Hosea demonstrated God’s love for His people (with that honey of a wife named Gomer), we are told of a Husband who comes wooing His run-away bride, one who betroths her to Himself… with gifts of righteousness, justice, loving-kindness, and mercy (Hosea 2: 19). Gifts that I can’t muster no matter how hard I try!
Is it any wonder I can’t do anything without Jesus? “Bless the Lord, O’ my soul.”
- Being filled with the fruits of righteousness “by” Christ (ptl2010.com)
- Faith Child – Can we do more? (ptl2010.com)