In our discipleship efforts, we never reach the point where we can depend upon our own strength. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing.
- Distinctive Discipleship – Designing Specific Plans for Christian Maturity
- Category #6: Dependence
- “Struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Col. 1:28).
- How responsible am I for my spiritual growth?
- Two dangerous extremes:
- Entitled people reject the responsibility for their personal spiritual growth.
- Independent people assume the responsibility for their personal spiritual growth.
- Effective disciples are those who work hard with God’s power working hard through them.
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5 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. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
- How noticeable is my growth right now?
- God works with each one of us based upon the type of fruit we are currently producing (15:1-3).
- I am incapable of doing anything spiritually worthwhile in my own strength (15:4-5).
- Our dependence on Christ does not imply inactivity but promotes diligence to those things which strengthen our connection (15:6-7).
- The more connected we are to Jesus, the more fruitful we are, and the greater our joy proves to be (15:8-11).
- What do I depend on God to do?
- Your proximity to the King is directly proportional to your productivity for the Kingdom.
- Doing works for Jesus is different than doing works with Jesus.
- Your spiritual growth is contingent upon how intently you protect your connection to Jesus.
- My prayers of dependence will ask God to:
- Are your prayers specific? Are they gaugeable?