Are you doing what you’re doing because you feel like you should?

It’s Worth Considering

I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5)

Many of us are very familiar with today’s verse. We get the fact that we really need Jesus and we acknowledge that we can do nothing of eternal

value without Him. Our problem is that we really don’t understand what it is to abide in Him.  We can come up with some reasonable synonyms, but it usually takes a lot of unproductive “religious activity” to teach us what abiding really means and why we need to do it.

Our culture promotes the idea that there’s much to be done so we need all the latest technology to make us more efficient. The better we master the technology, the more we can do. This may be great for the workplace, but it’s disastrous in our ministry. Technology isn’t always the issue. Some people simply feel like they always have to be busy doing something. They justify their frantic lifestyle by claiming that things must get done and if they don’t step up and do it, their world will fall apart.

Jesus’ friend, Martha, is a good example. She always seemed to be focused on what needed to be done—like preparations for a dinner guest. Her sister, Mary, on the other hand, was more interested in the guest than in the preparations. This was especially true when the guest was Jesus. She wanted to spend as much time as she could with Him, connecting with Him, learning from Him, and worshiping Him.

This doesn’t discount Martha’s good deeds, nor does it discount ours. The book of Titus (only 3 brief chapters) mentions “good deeds” six times. The point is that our good deeds must not be a substitute for taking the necessary time to abide in Jesus. As today’s verse makes clear, it isn’t our activity that produces lasting spiritual fruit. It’s our relationship with Jesus. The more time we spend with Him, the more productive we will be.

As I See It

In Titus 2:14 we are told that our Savior, Jesus, gave Himself up for us to redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. “A people for His own possession” sounds like abiding to me—an intimate relationship—a union so strong that it actually makes us zealous to do the work of ministry.

Take a moment to consider your good deeds—your serving—your ministry. Are you busy with “religious activity” because deep down you feel you must constantly be laboring for the Lord in order to meet His high standards? Are you doing what you’re doing because you feel like you should? Or are you ministering because your intimate relationship with Christ has so filled you with His love and compassion that nothing could stop you from sharing it with others?

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