I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. — John 15:5
Have you put up Christmas decorations yet? Twinkle lights are my favorite part. It makes me so happy to see all those bulbs give a beautiful soft glow at night.
Think for a minute how those strands of lights are like our relationship with Jesus. If you have one of those little bulbs all by itself — disconnected from a strand — it won’t do anything. But if it’s secured into a socket on a strand that’s plugged in, it’ll light right up. Jesus is the strand, and we are the light bulbs. Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches. We need to live connected to Him in order to bring His light and fruit into the world.
Anne Graham Lotz said, “The first secret to loving others is to immerse yourself in a love relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit — and abide there.”1
Remember that you’re not supposed to be a light in your own strength. Remain in Him. Live with Him as your power source.
Let your love flow from His love.
I’m going to keep turning my heart and mind toward You, God, welcoming Your light and power.
Be a Peacemaker
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God… Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. — Matthew 5:9, Matthew 5:44
Megan had a family member named Susie who was extremely antagonistic toward her. Susie regularly criticized Megan and complained about her to others.
Megan felt hurt, but she kept a soft heart toward Susie. She thought of Jesus’ words about loving people who don’t love you and being a peacemaker. She actually began going out of her way to serve and encourage Susie. Not only did it often defuse the tension between them, it also made Megan feel stronger. She felt closer to God.
God loved us when we were His enemies — that’s how lovely and strong He is. And He says to us,
Come join Me in My life. Love and bring peace like I do. Be My children.
That’s why He tells us to make every effort to do what leads to peace and edifies others (Romans 14:19). To bear with people and forgive them instead of being quick to grumble or fight.
When we feel pretty far from all that, we can start here:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. — Colossians 3:15 ESV
When we’ve gone to Him to receive peace, we’ll be able to offer it.
Heavenly Father, I want to live like Your child. Bring peace to my part of the world through me.
- Anne Graham Lotz, My Heart’s Cry (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2005), 144.
Excerpted with permission from Calm Your Anxious Mind by Carrie Marrs, copyright Zondervan.
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None of us can be the light of Christ on our own strength. It’s not possible! But, we believers have the Holy Spirit within us who will light us up and empower us to do His will as we stay connected and follow Him!