Without Me You Can Do Nothing
John 15:5 Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."
Psalm 16:2 "...You are my Lord. My goodness is nothing apart from You."
Proverbs 16:20 "He who heeds the word wisely will find good. And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he."
Luke 11:28 "But He (Jesus) said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
Nothing without the Lord
Both David and Jesus agree we can do nothing without the Lord.
Both Proverbs 16:20 and Luke 11:28 are saying the same thing. Heed the word and keep it brings blessings.
I struggled with this concept "without Me you can do nothing."
Being raised that being good was all that mattered was quite a hindrance for me. I tried to be good in all things I put my hand to. And by the world's standards, I was good.
- Got good grades in school.
- Received praise for the honor club.
- Took and passed all the business courses to receive extra certifications in high school.
- Was one of only four women to attend my college classes.
- I, again, received honors when I graduated.
- At work, I was the best support technician, so customers requested me by name.
- I became the best systems engineer when I moved to sales and even won a cruise for all my good work.
- I was promoted multiple times and handsomely compensated for my efforts.
But for all of that something was missing. I was empty.
I met and married my husband and the storybook wedding. We had our first son five years later. But marriage and parenting felt empty too.
What I didn't know at the time was how prideful I was. In all that "being good" I was really demonstrating how much pride controlled me.
You know what happens after pride shows up?
A Big Fall
I had my big fall and I thank God for it! Because it was the humbling process I needed. Without the fall, I never would have accepted I needed a Savior. After all I was "being good."
Through the fall I learned the meaning of Psalm 16:2 "my goodness is nothing apart from You."
So as Luke 11:28 says I became blessed when I obeyed God's word.
My husband and I started going to church, working on our issues. We were baptized. Later, even my son choose to be baptized. I stayed connected with other believers in Bible study. The more of God's Word I read, the more of it I wanted. Just like Romans 12:2 says "be transformed by the renewing of your mind." I was transformed.
My favorite verse is Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live; but Christ lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me."
By the way, the blessings continued at work I was promoted to working directly with the general manager of the company. And at home, I was blessed with a second son. God, even gave me this ministry of sharing His word through the written word.
So what am I saying
If you're anything like me, always doing and trying to be good, I want you to know you'll never be satisfied.
None of our good works will fulfill us.
But the good news is Jesus Christ can and does.
If you want that empty feeling to go away, ask Jesus into your life. He'll come and fill you to the brim.
He did for me so I know He will do it for you too!
Father God, how can I thank you enough for all you've done for me? May the readers of this devotion be moved to ask Jesus into their lives. In Jesus' name amen.
In God's Grace, Elizabeth Marks