John 15:5 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.
Have you ever been challenged? It probably sounded a little like this – “I bet you can’t…” Or “I dare you..” Maybe as a child, you were dared to cross onto property that had signs like “No trespassing!” “Keep out!” “Trespassers will be shot!” There are those of us who would reject the challenge, “No way! I enjoy life.” Others of us would have seen adventure and a challenge, “Sure! What’s in it for me?” Some resign from challenges, others thrive on them.
In John 15:5, we are told that we “can’t” do something. Jesus says “…for without me ye can do nothing.” Unfortunately, we often take this as a challenge subconsciously, when it really would be best for us to take Him at His Word and depend on Him. But many times, in our hearts, without realizing it, we try to prove Him wrong. So often we live our lives depending on ourselves for victory over sin, for boldness in witnessing, for wisdom with our families, for patience with others. You name it, we like to depend on ourselves for the strength to do it. We think that we can simply try harder. We struggle, we try to do better, and we fail. But, we are determined, so we try again, only to simply repeat a cycle. Why do we fail when we try to do better? Is it not for a good reason?
We fail because we are depending on ourselves for success. If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you know based on the Bible, that you had to rely completely on Jesus Christ alone to save you from your sins. You saw that baptism and good works could not get you to Heaven- only Jesus could save you because of what He did on the cross. The same way you got saved is the same way you live the Christian life – depending on Christ alone. Second Corinthians 3:5 states, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”
- Do you need victory over sin?
You can never triumph over temptation, resist the devil, or have victory over sin without the power of God.
Ephesians 6:10 “..be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”
2 Corinthians 6:14 “Now thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.”
Psalm 108:13 “Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.”
- Do you find yourself weak and shy in witnessing to others? Do you need boldness?
Ephesians 3:11-12 “…In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
- Do you need help understanding God’s Word?
Psalm 119:18 “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”
Psalm 119:125 “I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.”
- Do you want a godly home?
Psalm 127:1 “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it…”
- Do you need comfort and help in your trials?
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Lord tells Paul “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Many times we read that verse as if there are a few times where we are weak and where God’s strength comes in at just the right time. But, the closer we draw to Him, the more we realize the reality of that verse. I am weak ALL the time! His strength is perfect ALL the time! There is no hope nor power in myself to live this Christian life, but there is hope and power in HIM. We will never know His strength made perfect in our lives until we acknowledge our weakness. Turning to the Lord does not mean we become lazy in our Christian life, it means consciously depending on Him for His strength and guidance.
I need Thee ev’ry hour, Most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee ev’ry hour, Stay Thou near by;
Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee ev’ry hour, In joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, Or life is vain.
I need Thee, O I need Thee,
Ev’ry hour I need Thee!
O bless me now, my Savior- I come to Thee!