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Monday, May 6, 2019

Four Habits to Help Me Rest in God’s Goodness

In review of John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me” (CEV).

Today’s verse is John 15:5. In it Jesus tells me he is the vine, and I am a branch. If I remain in him, and he in me, I will bear much fruit; for I can do nothing without him.

Remaining in Christ means (1) believing that he is God's Son, (2) receiving him as Savior and Lord, (3) doing what God says, (4) continuing to believe the Good News, and (5) relating in love to the community of believers, Christ's body.

How do I rest in God’s goodness? How do I experience the abundant life he has for me?

There are are four daily habits that I have come across that will help move me from overwhelmed to overflowing.

First is to stay connected to Jesus every day. Jesus tells me, “I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me” (John 15:5 CEV). If I try to go through life on my own power, I’m going to be overwhelmed. A toaster cannot fulfill its purpose unless it’s plugged in to the power. Likewise I cannot fulfill my purpose and enjoy God’s goodness unless I’m plugged in to his power.

The second is to replace my complaining with gratefulness. “Do everything without complaining and arguing” (Philippians 2:14 NLT). Science has proven that complaining and practicing gratitude both have an impact on my health. Complaining is a deeply unhealthy emotion. On the other hand, studies have shown that gratitude is the healthiest emotion. It produces serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin in your brain—those are the chemicals that boost happiness and lower stress.

The third is to stop being stingy, and start being generous.“Bring the full amount of your tithes to the Temple, so that there will be plenty of food there. Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good things” (Malachi 3:10 GNT). God wired a universal law into the world: The more I give away, the more I’m going to get. He did that because he wants me to become more like him. God is a giver. Everything we have is the gift of God’s generosity. The more generous I am, the more God is going to bless me in every single area of your life. My life will overflow!

The fourth is to stop comparing, and start being content. “It is better to be content with what little you have. Otherwise, you will always be struggling for more, and that is like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:6 NCV). Contentment is not abandoning my ambition. I ought to have ambition. I ought to make the most of what God has given me. Contentment doesn’t mean I don’t have any goals, dreams, or plans for your life. Contentment simply means I don’t need more in order to be happy. I’m happy right now with what I’ve been given. Contentment means my happiness doesn’t depend upon circumstances; it depends upon God, the Good Shepherd who has blessed me with every good gift.

By nature, I am discontent. But by God’s grace, I can rest content in his goodness to me. When I grasp that most things in my life are simply gracious gifts from God, my life will go from overwhelming to overflowing.

Today, I need to stay connected, be grateful, be generous and learn to be content. Father I pray for change of heart today. To live for you. To be content. To serve well. I ask for your wisdom and guidance in my day. I pray this through your Son Jesus Christ.