"Strong and beautiful"

A troubled young man once told Pastor Ray Stedman, "I don't know what's the matter with me. I want to be a good Christian, and I try hard, but somehow I just never seem to make it. I'm always doing the wrong thing. I just can't live like a Christian."

Pastor Stedman pointed out a Douglas fir tree to the young man and said, "What are the qualities this tree suggests to you?" "It's strong and it's beautiful."

Pastor Stedman said, "Exactly! Beauty and strength. Isn't that what you desire for yourself too? Where does it get its beauty and strength?"

The young man said, "Well, from the roots." In John 15, Jesus also used a plant to teach His disciples a similar lesson (v.1). He described the disciples as being branches springing from Himself, the vine. Can a branch bear fruit by itself? Nope. It needs to draw nutrients and water from the vine. Jesus was making the point that the secret to bearing fruit doesn't lie in the strength of our determination, but in our being grafted into the Source of life.

In verse 7, Jesus gives us this promise: "If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!"

Now this verse is not an open invitation to pursue our own selfish desires. But it presents the truth that when we pray we draw from God the needed resources to produce fruit. Verse 8 states the result of answered prayer: "When you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father."

Want to be spiritually strong and beautiful? Remain in Jesus and depend on Him! He will definitely answer the requests of the child of God who is bearing fruit by His living power. , Poh Fang Chia, Our Daily Journey

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