Oh, that this would be more true of me!
MY ACTIONS AND WORK
As long as it is day, I must do the work of the Father who sent me. Night is coming, a time when no one will be able to work.
As I work I remember that I can do nothing on my own or by myself. I’m learning to do what I see my Father doing. Like Father, like son, they say – so logically I should only do whatever my Father does. My Father loves me and shows me all He does so I can join him in his work. Father and son, working together – as it should be.
Jesus commands me to love people like he and our Father love me. If I love people like that they’ll know that I’m His disciple. Jesus and His Father love me so much! They’ve even come and made their home with me. Because I love Jesus, I obey his teaching and take care of His sheep like he wants me to. If I obey his commands, I’ll live in His love and friendship. There is nothing better in life!
Serving Him means following Him, so I go where he goes. My Father honors me when I serve Him like that. If I work for the honor of the Father who sent me, I’m a person of truth and there is nothing false about me. Jesus is the light of the world, so I live by the truth and come into the light to show people plainly that what I’ve done I’ve done through God. I don’t take the credit. If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, my God, is the one who glorifies or not. I’ll leave that to him.
MY SOURCE OF STRENGTH AND LIFE
Christ is the Vine, and I am one of his branches, an outgrowth of God himself. I live in Him and he lives in me, which is why I’m bearing so much fruit, fruit that lasts. You see, apart from Him, I can do nothing – but if I live in Him and his words live in me, I can ask whatever I wish, and it will be given to me. It makes sense, if you think about it: My Father is glorified when I bear fruit. If a branch is bearing fruit, it must be connected to the Vine. So it proves that I’m one of his disciples.
My Jesus is also the bread of life. Because I have come to Him and believe in him, I’m never spiritually hungry or thirsty. How could I be, when his flesh is real food and His blood is real drink? Just as the living Father sent Jesus and He lives because of the Father, I feed on Jesus and live because of Him. If I only drank earthly water I’d get thirsty again, but because I drank the water Jesus gave me, I’ll never thirst again. Many people diligently study the Bible because they think that they can wring eternal life from the words on the pages. I do study the scriptures, but I look to Jesus to experience the life they talk about. Jesus is the true source; His water is a spring of water welling up to eternal life, flowing right from within me. It’s just like he promised, just like the scriptures say!
You see, the Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. I don’t work for food that spoils, but for food that lasts forever, which Jesus gives me as I need it. This food isn’t what you think. It’s actually doing the will of my heavenly Father and finishing His work. And I don’t accept praise from people when I succeed at that. How can I believe if I accept praise from people, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from my Father?
The words I speak aren’t my own, which means my teaching isn’t my own either. It comes from my Father, who sent me. In fact, I don’t do anything on my own. I let the Father living in me do His work through me instead. I simply speak just what the Father has taught me. The Father commands me what to say and how to say it, so that whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say. I simply tell people what I have seen in the Father’s presence. When I live like that my words are spirit and they are life.
Why would I speak on my own? I would quickly slip into trying to gain honor for myself. If I testified about myself, my testimony wouldn’t be valid either. My Father testifies in my favor, and I know that His testimony about me is valid.
The bottom line is that I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live. Christ lives in me, which is to say that the life I now live I live by faith in Him, because he loved me and gave himself up for me. My life is hidden with Christ in God now. It’s all about Christ in me – Christ the hope of glory, dwelling in my heart through faith, connecting me with my Father in heaven.
Can you imagine being able to say this honestly? Wow.