Makes All the Difference

April 23, 2008

“…As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit…” (John 15:5)

I gave exactly the same talk (same anecdotes, same punchlines and same jokes) on two different occasions before two different audiences, but the results were entirely different. Let me tell you why…

The first talk was powerful. The audience was receptive. The crowd was moved. Tears flowed. Joy overflowed. Everyone gave their lives to God that day. It was simply awesome.

The second talk was the exact opposite. My stories weren’t moving. The punchlines had no punch. My jokes fell flat. The audience was bored. I was uninspired. Not a single soul offered their life to God. Even the one who invited me to speak stayed on her seat during the altar call. It was downright embarassing. 

What could have been the difference?

My guess is this: I was not as reliant to God in the second talk as I was in the first.

You see, the first talk happened early on in my career as a preacher. When I was still inexperienced. When I spent fewer minutes giving the talk than praying about it. When I had to literally go on my knees begging for God’s anointing for weeks prior to the talk.

The second talk, on the other hand, happened years later when things about me were much different. I was already a semi-veteran preacher whose confidence bordered on the extreme. A bit arrogant, I spent less time on my knees than on stage. Instead of preparing for the talk, I simply unearthed my re-hashed talk from my files hoping the same material would be enough to produce the same effect. I was dead wrong.

Reading today’s Gospel makes me recall vividly those two experiences.

“…As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit…” (John 15:5)

Friend, remaining in Jesus in everything we do makes all the difference. Whether at work, or in our relationships, or even when it comes to our service, remaining in Jesus is crucial. For without Him, we cannot bear fruit.

Our best diagnosis will not remedy the illness of our patient.

Our best legal remedy cannot acquit our client.

Our best business strategy cannot keep our business open.

Our best sales plan cannot close that deal.

Without God, you can do absolutely nothing.

Today, re-affirm your commitment to remain with God.

Pray to God daily. Listen to Him regularly. Ask for His anointing. Plead for His blessing.

Remain in Him. It makes all the difference in what you do. It makes all the difference in the world.

I remain, your friend, in Christ,

Bobby Q.

 

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