To gain a new power to be productive, I need a new vision. I need to see myself as God sees me in Christ. As a Christ follower, you have a new identity!
The most important process that produces the greatest productivity in the vineyard is pruning. If you were a branch, and you could speak, you would find this painful. You would be tempted to complain and become disillusioned, questioning the wisdom of the gardener in cutting away some of your branches, wondering how can less produce more?
Where do we get the power to be productive? Jesus gives us the answer in a simple but profound teaching found in John 15. He uses a common illustration all those listening could understand.
How resilient are you? When you fall, do you land like a basketball or a bowling ball? Proverbs says that, even, righteous people fall. In Ecclesiastes the Bible says, “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.”
God desires to let you in on some divine secrets. How does that work? Just ask! That’s what He told the prophet Jeremiah in this passage:
Many are settling for the “good” life. But why settle for a good life, or even a better life, if you can have the best life of all?
The more I read the Bible, the more amazed I am at its content and construction. Consider the Shepherd work of Christ, for example. We’ve been talking about that for the past few days. We found various passages in the New Testament that revealed the Shepherd work of Christ in three unique ways.
When you make the Shepherd the Lord of your life, the Lord becomes your Shepherd! That’s why the psalmist could conclude Psalm 23 with such confidence and comfort. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!”
The psalmist said, “The Lord is my Shepherd ….” But, the Lord can’t be your Shepherd until the Shepherd is the Lord of your life. Lordship simply means the one who is in charge, that you have given Christ control of your life.
God’s grace to you is not without effect. That word means to cause to change. Your life change as a Christ follower is the result of an exchanged life! It’s not about will power, but His power. What else could have changed a man bent on “destroying the church,” like Paul?