“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
Anxiety has become a common thing today.
Fear of the unknown or what could happen abounds.
This is not the way that God wants us to live.
Jesus Himself addressed the anxiety of His disciples.
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”
There is no reason to be nervous today.
The Lord has everything under control.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Our responsibility is to seek Him first, then He will give us what we need.
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
There is no need to fear tomorrow, He already knows.
Nothing can affect God’s children except that which He allows.
He filters every single thing according to His will for our lives.
Why should we worry then?
Paul admonished the church of Philippi of what they should worry about.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Ruth 3 | Romans 4
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
Fruit that we buy from the produce section at the grocery store often does not last very long. If we leave an orange in the fruit basket for too long, mold begins to appear.
The fruit found through abiding in Christ never decays.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
This fruit is imperishable simply because it does not originate with us.
We have no part in this fruit other than our obedience to do whatever He tells us.
Fruit that remains abides forever.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
Fruit that remains is everlasting.
“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”
Fruit that remains will not return void.
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
He promises that when we give out His Word, It will accomplish what He pleases… that is fruit that remains.
We cannot bear fruit without Him.
Ruth 2 | Romans 3
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
What does it mean to abide?
Webster tells us…to bear patiently, to endure without yielding, to wait for and accept without objection, to remain stable or fixed in a state.
These definitions seem to suggest abiding beside on under something, however if we look at the verse closer, Jesus said “Abide in me, and I in you.”
If we are to bear anything patiently, He must dwell in us and we in Him.
We can only endure without yielding to our flesh if we submit ourselves unto Him.
Picture a branch on its own… is it alive or dead?
Every branch we have ever seen by itself has died, or is dying, simply because it left the Vine, its Source of Life. More branches cannot be produced if a branch is no longer connected to the Vine.
How are we any different?
The moment we attempt to live in our own strength, the decline begins. We may not feel a change for a few hours, or maybe even days, but the difference is already there.
Our spiritual life begins to wither and decay the moment we leave the Vine.
“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered…”
Fruit is impossible without Him.
“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.”
Jesus Christ spoke these words on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew this illustration would soon be seen by His disciples. The vines and branches of every tree within the Garden were a reminder of Him and this truth.
Without Him, we have no fruit.
In Him, we have the opportunity to bring forth much fruit.
Much fruit brings glory to God.
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
Much or none…the choice is ours.
Abide in Him today.
Ruth 1 | Romans 2
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
The first step in solving a problem is admitting there is a problem.
Do we even realize when there is sin in our lives?
We cannot get rid of the sin that displeases the Lord unless we first acknowledge our sin.
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
How can we cleanse our hearts? By the Word of God.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
If we want a cleansed heart, we must take heed to His Word and allow Him to purge away the sin from our lives.
Do you desire a clean heart today?
Prayerfully ask the Lord to show you the sin that needs cleansed.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
A clean heart is only a confession away.
No earthly priest is required, we can simply approach the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Judges 19-21 | Romans 1
“Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.”
Sometimes silence is best.
Christ showed us this example several times throughout the Scripture, most noticeably when He was on trial. He was questioned and accused; yet He wisely chose to remain silent.
Herod had heard of the miracles that Jesus had done, and hoped to witness one himself. He questioned, but the response of Jesus spoke volumes.
He answered nothing.
“And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.”
He did not even open His mouth. Just as Isaiah had wrote many years before.
“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”
Silence is a wise response to both our critics and those who do us wrong.
“And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:”
We too can wisely choose to remain silent amidst the persecution. Regardless of the false accusations or the suffering we endure, following Christ’s example of silence is most often the wisest way we can respond.
Silent Wisdom is heard louder than any words we could ever say.
Judges 17-18 | Acts 28
“His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”
The wise words of His mother were heard by the servants at the marriage in Cana of Galilee.
Can you imagine their reaction?
Perhaps confusion or maybe anticipation.
She obviously knew something they did not.
There were six waterpots of stone nearby.
“Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water…”
The servants had a choice to make.
Do they ignore both Jesus and Mary’s instructions or choose to follow them?
“…And they filled them up to the brim.”
Not only did they obey, they anticipated that something marvelous was about to take place. Why else would they have filled them to the brim?
If we want to see the impossible, we have to be willing to not only do what we are told, but to the best we can, and then allow Him to take over.
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
It is not our ability that matters, but rather our obedience.
How willing are you to obey whatever He says?
“And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.”
He allowed them to have a part in the miracle.
They had no part in performing it, but He gave them the opportunity to do more than just see something miraculous. They not only witnessed the impossible, but imagine the faces of six servants as each of them dipped into what was once clear water, and now came out red like crimson. The miracle was in their hand.
What might the Lord allow us to be a part of if we were simply willing to allow Him to get the glory?
Judges 15-16 | Acts 27
“And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.”
Peter not only had faith to follow Jesus, but he had faith to ask to Jesus to do the impossible through him.
“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.”
Jesus walking on the water was a miracle in itself… but Peter had the audacity to ask the Lord if He would allow him to walk on the water too.
One word from Jesus, spoken as a result of Peter’s faith-filled request.
We often ask for Jesus to do a miracle in our lives, but have you ever asked Him to do one through you?
Peter walking on the water had nothing to do with his ability.
God empowered and allowed his feet not to sink when he came down out of the boat.
His eyes were fixed upon Jesus, because he knew he did not have the power within himself to do what he was doing.
The Scripture proves this by the fact that as soon as Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the wind boisterous around him, he began to sink. Yet the moment he cried out amidst his fear, the Lord rescued him.
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Discard the doubt today.
Keep your eyes on Jesus.
“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
Ask Him to do the impossible through you for His glory.
Judges 13-14 | Acts 26
“And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”
This was Peter and Andrew’s response when Jesus said unto them, “Follow me”.
No explanation was given, they just decided to place faith in Who He was.
The sons of Zebedee, James and John, had the same reaction when Jesus called them; and Scripture tells us they possibly gave up even more than the other brothers.
“And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”
Their faith to follow allowed them to see miracle after miracle that Jesus did as He went all about Galilee teaching and preaching.
What if they had said no?
Think of all they would have missed out on.
We read of two men, in Luke 9, that made excuses for not following.
“And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.”
“And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.”
Jesus’ response was clear and to the point.
“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Are you using as an excuse today?
Or are you looking back while attempting to do the work of the Lord?
“And they straightway left their nets…”
“And they immediately left the ship and their father…”
Regardless of what you have to leave or give up, it is worth it to follow Him.
Decide today that you are done making excuses.
Decide that waiting until the “right time” is just a delay from seeing the miracle.
Choose today to follow Him without delay.
No looking back… look to Him in faith.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Judges 11-12 | Acts 25
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
These same two words are spoken repeatedly by the same Person throughout the New Testament.
They were spoken as an invitation to join or come after Him.
But more important was Who the people were invited to follow.
He spoke of Himself.
He was, and is, Jesus.
The Son of God. God in the flesh. The Messiah. The Saviour.
These two words were more than just an invitation.
Each time was, and is, an opportunity given to place faith in the One that said them.
Nineteen times, within the pages of Scripture, Jesus uttered these two words.
Six of those times, no other words were said with them. He simply said, “Follow me”.
Oftentimes we are not given an explanation as to why we are in a certain situation.
God may have not purposefully brought it to pass, but regardless, He allowed it.
The situation you are facing today may feel unique to you, but He knows.
You may not be physically standing on the shore casting a net into the sea, but the Lord knows exactly where you are and what you are dealing with.
He is still speaking the same words to you today as He did to Peter and Andrew that day by the Sea of Galilee…“Follow me”.
Every storm, every valley, every virus, is just another opportunity to place faith in Him.
Are you willing to follow Him today?
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”
Trace His steps within the pages of the Word of God.
Allow Him to speak to your heart like no one else can.
Let Him speak peace to your troubled soul.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Judges 9-10 | Acts 24
“The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The prophet Isaiah foretold that this Great Light would come.
The Light of the World chose to begin His preaching with one Word… “Repent.”
This word “Repent” means more than just changing your mind or turning away from something…it refers to not only turning from, but also unto something…or rather in this case, Someone.
Jesus Christ spoke of turning from sin and unto Him.
The Word spoke the word which pointed people to Himself.
“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
His purpose was for us to repent unto Him.
Not a select few, or even many, but He came so that all should come unto Him.
2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
After we are saved, our repentance does not end.
Those times when we have strayed away from Him, the same word applies.
He is waiting for us to repent and return unto Him, restoring our fellowship with Him.
“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
Our relationship cannot change, but sin in our lives hinders our communion with Him.
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.”
If you do not know Him, “Repent”.
If you do know Him, but have strayed away, “Repent”.
Just as He showed us on Calvary, He is waiting with open arms of love.
Waiting for His children to turn unto Him.
Judges 7-8 | Acts 23
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