Christian growth seems so complicated at times, doesn’t it?
I need to pray, and I need to make sure that my prayers aren’t too self-centered, and I need to be praying for the spread of God’s kingdom, and to be sure that I’m not distracted by my iPhone. I need to read God’s word. And meditate on it. And memorize it. I need to evangelize, fast, serve, reach out, love my wife, serve my daughters, and give money to God’s work.
Man, this stuff can be so confusing! With limited time and limited energy, what the heck am I supposed to do? Sometimes I get anxious when I think about all that I should be doing. I want to be a fruitful Christian but I worry that I’m missing something. How can I be sure that I’m doing the right stuff at the right time?
I find Jesus’ words in John 15:5 very helpful:
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 can do nothing.
Isn’t that refreshingly simple? If I want to bear much fruit I need to abide in Jesus. That’s it.
To abide with Jesus is to be with him. To spend time with him. To be near to him.
It’s important to think through the various spiritual disciplines we pursue. But let’s not get overly worked up or worried about producing fruit for the Lord. If we abide with Jesus, we will produce fruit. Actually, let me correct that. If we abide with Jesus, He will produce fruit.
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Stephen Altrogge serves as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA, where his main duties include leading worship, preaching, and working with youth. He also has written a number of worship songs that have been included on Sovereign Grace Music albums. Stephen is the author of the book Game Day For the Glory of God: A Guide For Athletes, Fans, and Wannabes, published by Crossway Books in September 2008, and The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence, published by Crossway Books in April 2011. When not shining his dad’s shoes, you can find Stephen drinking coffee or playing video games.
Find out more when you visit his blog, The Blazing Center.