Apart From Jesus…
Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5 (NRSV)
Did you know that other countries are sending missionaries to Canada and the United States? It is a known fact to other nations that the Western Christian church is dying. While they are living with intense persecution, they cry out to God on our behalf. Isn’t that sobering?
Why do we need prayer?
In a booklet entitled The Church in China: Answers to Your Top Ten Questions, distributed by Empower Ministries International (2014), the author states that most House Churches in China hold weekly all-night prayer meetings with up to half a million people praying throughout the nation. It is at these prayer meetings that “the Western Church is a priority on their prayer list; they know we face numerous distractions in our overly busy world, and also the temptation of materialism” (Empower 51).
Isn’t that amazing?
While Chinese Christians depend on prayer for their very survival, we struggle to take a few minutes to sit with Jesus. That’s why we need prayer.
We are so self-sufficient in our culture that it often takes a rock bottom darkness before we acknowledge–or even see–that we need Christ and before we really get serious about prayer.
Is it any wonder then that we see such little fruit in our lives or that we are so exhausted or that our churches aren’t growing?
But Jesus makes it very clear here: “‘Apart from me you can do nothing.'”
- I can’t bring myself to be more disciplined in my devotions.
- I can’t work up the courage to speak to that neighbor about Christ.
- I can’t have the patience I need to parent with grace and unconditional love.
- I can’t be submissive to my husband.
- I can’t get through the heartache of losing a loved one.
- I can’t overcome depression.
- I can’t deal with my teen’s drug addiction.
But JESUS CAN!!
Jesus has the power and He is our source! Our Vine. That is such wonderful news, isn’t it?
Jesus WANTS to abide in us and make us whole.
He WANTS to carry us in our trials and whisper words of comfort and encouragement.
He WANTS to be our source of strength so that the glory rightfully goes to HIM.
- HE is the Vine (John 15:5).
- HE is the One Who has overcome the world (John 16:33).
- HE is the source of abundant life (John 10:10).
- HE gives us peace (John 14:27).
Bring your concerns to Jesus. Fall at His feet. He is ready and waiting to abide in you.
Ask Him for a greater awareness of your need for Him.
Abide in Him.