by Dr. Foster H. Shannon
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
As we believe in Jesus Christ, we know that we are not alone. He is our Savior who forgives us of our sins, and enables us to lead a life that is worthy of him. Yet those who believe in our Lord may tend to discouragement. That discouragement is seen in many Christians as they withdraw to the shelter of their homes and their churches—feeling incapable of dealing with a world that is in a mess.
But our God encourages us! “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” (II Corinthians 2:14)
God has worthy things for each one of us to do. He is our leader; he is our guide; he is our teacher. He teaches us how we should live, and what we should do. Belonging to Jesus Christ, we are to be engaged in the work of God. But we look at ourselves and find ourselves insufficient. We need to keep firmly in our minds whom we are serving. God does not ask us to operate on our own strength—he promises to be with us.
There are no limits to God’s power and authority. He created our planet, our solar system; the Sun that makes life possible. He has created billions of galaxies, and within those billions of galaxies are billions of stars. His Universe is incredibly vast. He has created every atom, every molecule—and he has made us with all of our gifts and abilities. He raised Jesus from the dead. He invites us to share in his work, to be his witnesses, his ambassadors. We are reminded of his limitless power.
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,” (Colossians 1:11)
We are very limited when we depend upon our own strength—but with God all things are possible.
We are at the beginning of the college football season. The players don’t just show up for the first game! They have had spring training—and then weeks of preparation for the first game. We need to be preparing ourselves in daily Bible study–gaining knowledge–so we are ready to speak up and to act on behalf of the kingdom of God. We should expect to be challenged in the world in which we live.
“For it is the God who said, ‘let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (II Corinthians 4:6)
“With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)