Not just a Doer, but a Dweller

John 15:4,5

Abide in me and I in you.  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.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, FOR APART FROM ME YOU YOU CAN DO NOTHING.

I felt that I was getting a bit bogged down this week, a bit legalistic in having to perform and do good deeds, in having to reign in my attitude, in having to love my neighbour, in having to be nice!  It just all seemed too much, too hard somehow.  But then it dawned on me – I don’t have to do any of that in my own strength!  I have Jesus, apart from Him I can do nothing – not even good deeds, not even bearing the fruits of the Spirit, not even in being nice to others, or in putting others first, nor in witnessing, nor in serving:  I need Him for all of that.

In order for us to carry out any good deeds, to let the love of Jesus show through us, to show the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, then first and foremost we have to be in Jesus, abide in Him. We have to have a personal daily relationship with Him, we have to cultivate that relationship, we have to abide in Him, dwell there, linger there, remain there.

We are not able to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control without first being in Jesus.  We are not able to love our neighbours as ourselves without first having the love of Jesus in our own lives. We are not able to serve others till we have sat at the Master’s feet.

We are not able to be “doers of the Word” if we firstly don’t have the Word in us.

We are not able to emulate Jesus in our lives, if we don’t first of all know Him, know Him better, know Him more.  The more we know of Him, of His love, of His Ways then the more we can show Him to others. The more our lives are in step with Him, then the more we can be useful in His service. The more of His love we know, then the more able we are to love others.

The more time we spend in His presence then the more our attitude will be like His: kind, loving, gentle, impartial, non-judgmental, respectful, loving our neighbours as ourselves, treating others the way we would want to be treated ourselves.

To be a “doer” we also have to be a “dweller”, to dwell in the presence of God, to make conscious contact with God, to soak up His Word and let His Word transform us from the inside out.

Because I cant “do” on my own, I need to dwell.

“for apart from me you can do nothing”

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