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Friday, June 2, 2023

From Being Overwhelmed to Overflowing

In John 15:5 I read, “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.” (NIV)

The moment I start doubting the goodness of God and deciding for myself what will make me happy, all kinds of problems begin. I wind up being overworked, overanxious, and overloaded—and just generally overwhelmed!

But God promises me an overflowing life, not an overwhelmed one

Jesus said, “I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness” (John 10:10 GNT).

How do I experience an abundant, overflowing life? I’m learning that there is one habit that, if I do it every day, will fill me with an endless supply of God’s goodness: It’s staying connected to Jesus.

In John 15:5, Jesus compared staying connected to him with a grapevine: “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 NIV).

What happens when a cluster of grapes is cut off from the vine? It dies. The same is true with me.

God is my true source of energy and power. If I try to go through life on my own power, I’m going to be overwhelmed. But if I’m connected to him, I’ll have all the power I need. Or, as the Bible says, “Your joy will overflow!” (John 15:11 NLT)

One way I try to stay connected to Jesus is through my daily quiet time. In a quiet time, I set aside time to be alone with God and get to know him through reading his Word and talking to him in prayer.

Mark 1:35 says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (NIV).

Even Jesus knew his personal need for connection with God—and he was the Son of God! How much more do I need the strength that comes from daily time with the Lord?

There are and will be some days that I may not feel like having a quiet time—but I need to do it anyway. If I wait to have a quiet time until I feel like it, Satan will make sure I never feel like it.

If I find my life needing more time, energy, knowledge, or opportunity, then I need to continue to challenge myself to the habit of spending daily time with Jesus. When I stay connected to him, I’ll find my life overflowing with God’s goodness and power—and I’ll realize that’s all I really need.

In summary, 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. So I need to stay connected, be grateful, be generous and be content.