Our verse for today comes from John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
My wife has taken on a new role this year at church in helping to lead one of the children’s ministries. It is an awesome opportunity for her to work alongside several other ladies to help disciple the young girls in our church, and many others who come only to participate in this ministry. As a leader, she has the responsibility to have certain things ready and prepared each week, as well as planning and organizing several larger events that occur throughout the year. And what she is discovering is that from week to week, she can be on a roller coaster ride of emotion and energy as she prepares for the upcoming lesson, reflects on the previous time with the girls, and looks ahead to the next big event. Before the lesson she is concerned with being prepared and organized. During the hour, she wants the girls to learn and grow and have fun. When the night is through, she evaluates the time spent in class, critiques her teaching and leadership, and wades through the comments of any parents who had an opinion on one thing or another. She feels the weight of responsibility to the young ladies, their parents, the other teachers, our church, and our Lord. And needless to say, it can weigh heavy on her.
So when she comes to me for comfort and support, I try to help her take her eyes off of the tasks and the duties and place them on the One whom she is really serving. It’s safe to say for those who minister and serve in church that our tendency is to draw life and worth from the fruit instead of the Vine. We want our labors to succeed and benefit others, and we can rise and fall with how we or others view or respond to what we are doing. A discouraging comment or lackluster involvement can dampen our enthusiasm or damage our commitment, and a good night can elate us. But Jesus must remain the focus. Our aim must be to serve and honor Him, and whatever reviews we get or give our self should only lead us to lean on Him more.
As we seek Him today, figure out what it means for you to abide in Christ, and let your identity and favor come from dwelling in Him.