I choose to Abide.

If we are going to bear fruit in every area of our lives then we need to understand how to be fruitful.  In John 15, Jesus provides us with a clue to how we can bear fruit that will last in our lives. He says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:6)."  

But how do we abide in Christ? 

To abide in Jesus means to keep his commandments and to keep his commandments means to love God with all our hearts and souls and minds and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37–39). One way that we display our love for God is through our trust, prayer, and devotion to Him. We pursue in love. We pray in love. We obey in love.

And here is the good news: We love Jesus because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). We didn’t choose him; he chose us and he chose us to walk out our faith in obedience to him. Apart from Christ, we cannot do anything (John 15:5). This is also good news to the weary person who thinks they need to muster up strength to pursue and know Christ (and to love their neighbor — a fruit Jesus emphasizes). He provides the grace and the strength. The fruit that Jesus speaks of is simply evidence of a relationship with him.


I am chosen by God and I choose to abide in Him. Knowing how well my Father loves me, listens to me, and desires to lavish good things on me, I draw near to Him with arms open wide, ready to receive.


I choose to Rest.

I don’t know what burden you’re carrying. I don’t know what’s weighing you down.  But I do know what you need today - REST. 

Jesus  says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).”

It's easy to dismiss this passage of scripture because it seems like Jesus wants to give us something else to deal with. I’ve got a heavy enough burden, Lord. I don’t need to take your problems on me too. But the value of a yoke is that it halves a load. Without a yoke, one cow’s got to pull that entire load by itself. If you yoke up one cow with another cow, then the two cows pull the load together, and the load is half as heavy. 

When Jesus says to take his yoke upon you, he’s not saying he’s going to give you his problems. Jesus doesn’t have any problems! He’s saying he’s going to share your problems. He’s going to share your load. He’s going to take your stress on himself and bear it with you.

When you’re yoked with Christ, you move together with him. You move in the same direction and at the same speed. And, you move in the right direction and at the right time.


I am chosen by God and I choose to rest in Him.  Carrying my responsibilities and worries has exhausted my strength.  Today, I am going to lay my burden at the feet of Jesus and trust that He will give me rest as I move together with him at his pace. 


I choose Grace.

Paul’s personal testimony recounts some of the hardships that confronted him (2 Cor. 11:22-28). He was imprisoned, beaten, threatened, stoned, ship-wrecked, robbed, and chased throughout his entire ministry. On top of all this, he had a persistent, unrelenting “thorn” oppressing his body (2 Cor. 12:7-8).

You’d think that God would keep His best servants in perfect condition and optimal health. Yet, here we see that although Paul prayed for relief, God’s answer was not what he expected. Rather than receiving a grand, sweeping cure, Paul was given a deeper answer: “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12:9).

Through that difficulty, God taught Paul a vital lesson: It does not matter how weak we think we are, or how oppressed or downtrodden. In God’s hands, our weakness makes room for His strength. And it is through His power—and His power alone—that we can do amazing things.

Perhaps you struggle with your own “thorn.” If so, instead of praying for a quick fix, ask God what He wants to accomplish through your weakness. Your human frailty just may be the vessel through which God can display His unlimited power to the world.


I am chosen by God and I choose His grace. Even though weakness disqualifies me from many things in this world, I know that God can use me despite my weaknesses. I am going to lean into His grace and allow my life to bring Him glory. I am going to trust that He knows what is best for me and will provide the strength I need for today.


I choose Expectation.

When we’re exhausted, when we’re beyond it, when we’re questioning God - what’s the one thing He wants us to do? King David provides us with the answer to that question when he says, "In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation (Psalm 5:3)."

God meets us at the level of our expectation.

How much do we expect God to do in our lives, in our relationships, in our schools, in our community, and in the world? If I'm being honest then I have to admit that my level of expectation has never been up to God’s level of performance.

Our waiting should be expectant because we are waiting on the God who holds oceans in his hands and measures the sands of the earth like a chef measures sugar, salt, and flour. This is the God who weighs mountains and stretches the heavens like a curtain. This is the same God who numbers the stars! 

Waiting on the Lord is difficult, but it isn’t a passive activity. It is an act of faith measured by our expectation.


I am chosen by God and I choose to pray with expectation. I will continue to cultivate expectancy within me, and all around me, concerning the breakthroughs and victories the Lord has promised. I believe that God can do exceedingly abundantly more than I can ask or even imagine.


I choose to Serve.

When we encounter opportunities to serve God, we don’t always respond in the way He desires. Perhaps we think we can’t because our schedule is too busy or we don’t feel qualified. Too many times our excuses get in the way of how God wants to use us.

Jesus did not come into the world as a ruler or a king. He didn’t take up a position or title of authority. He didn’t flex his supernatural powers or boast of his cosmic abilities. He didn’t vanquish his foes with violence or domination. John 13:3-5 says, "Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him."

There are lots of people who are looking for a platform to stand on but Jesus has already shown us our position to lead from. He demonstrated what true greatness was in God’s eyes. In God’s kingdom, the greatest person is the one who serves others. Are you ready to go from excuse me to use me? Then start looking for ways to serve the people around you. Jesus told his followers, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you (John 13:15)."


I am chosen by God and I choose to serve. Give me the faith to step out in obedience and serve You well, to serve You diligently, knowing that You will flood my heart with joy as You make serving my lifestyle.

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