The church service was still in progress, and we had some visitors there that morning. The speaker was only halfway through his sermon when I noticed one of our visitors walking out. I was curious and concerned, so I walked out to talk with her.
“You’re leaving so soon,” I said, approaching her. “Is there a problem I can help with?” She was frank and forthright. “Yes,” she said, “my problem is that sermon! I don’t accept what the preacher is saying.” He had said that no matter what we accomplish in life, the credit and praise belong to God. “At least,” the woman moaned, “I deserve some credit for my achievements!”
I explained to her what the pastor meant. People do deserve recognition and appreciation for what they do. Yet even our gifts and talents are from God, so He gets the glory. Even Jesus, the Son of God, said, “The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing” (John 5:19). He told His followers, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (15:5).
We acknowledge the Lord as the one who helps us to accomplish everything.
Lord, let me not forget to acknowledge You for all that You do for me and enable me to do.
God’s children do His will for His glory.
John 15 forms the middle section of Jesus’s Upper Room Discourse—His final extended teaching time with His disciples before going to the cross. He focuses on our deep dependence upon Him by using the comparison of a vine and its branches (vv. 1–8). Then He describes His great love for us that should result in our love for one another (vv. 9–17), our identification with Him as opposed to this world (vv. 18–25), and the reassuring ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives (vv. 26–27). These words not only form strategic preparation for His disciples ahead of His suffering and death, they also speak of His ongoing love for and commitment to all His children.