Abiding in Christ
By Andrea Chatelain
“‘Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.’” John 15:4
I backpacked across Europe, hiked to the top of mountains, and earned college degrees. There are many things I’ve prided myself on accomplishing but one I couldn’t do—transform my life. I had to trust Jesus with that.
A few years ago I desired to be more loving, kind, and joyful, but most days I felt the opposite. I often awoke grumpy, impatient, and depressed. What was wrong with me? Why was loving people so hard? I simply didn’t have the power or energy to live how I wanted and I was sick of trying.
During that season I read today’s verse and was perplexed. Priding myself on independence, it was hard to accept that I couldn’t change my nature. Jesus said we can’t produce His quality of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control without Him.
I’m still learning to submit to His leadership so I can live out His endless “fruit” instead of my limited version. But the more time I spend with God, whether in prayer, Scripture reading, pondering His love and grace, or intentionally thanking Him throughout the day, the more my joy and love returns.
How does it make you feel to know God doesn’t expect you to live out your faith alone? And where is He beckoning you to come closer to Him and trust His ability over yours? Spend time with Jesus in prayer today and rest in His perfect love.
Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She's part of the Wholly Loved Ministries team, is a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. It’s her joy to lead Bible studies in her neighborhood, church, and community because she believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers. Connect with Andrea more online at www.afruitfulwoman.com.
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Originally published Monday, 23 September 2019.