Daily Devotional 6-19-20

TRANSCRIPT

Hello. My name is Michael Grimm and my wife, Beth, and I have been attending ACC for nearly 20 years. Recently, I was part of an online group through Man in the Mirror, focusing on and studying the concept of abiding with the Father. Jesus said in John 15:4, “Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me” (CSB).

Then the apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 said, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.”

During one of the sessions, we focused on the subject of joy. We were tasked to ask ourselves and journal during our daily quiet time, “Am I experiencing joy in my life?” Then, “Does my wife experience joy?” And finally, “Would my wife say that I experience joy?” And of course, it coincided with studying Scripture on the subject of joy.

My wife’s response to the final question was that I do experience joy, but sometimes my critical heart robs me of that joy. And I knew this was true about myself. Others who know me well, probably know this about me too. So I thought maybe I need to go deep, do a deeper dive to understand this, and find the root. I spent time over the next couple of days, pondering this. I even received an email on the subject of joy and bitterness. And I found myself asking, where does this critical nature and cynicism come from?

God gave me an analytical mind and mechanical aptitude to look at things and try to understand how they work, what caused the failure, and how it can be improved. But that critical thinking can be distorted by my flesh or my sin nature. And to look at almost everything with critical eyes, including people. But God, through his Holy Spirit began to reveal to me that no, it’s not necessary for you to find the root cause. What became clear is abide, abide in me and I will change your character. If I am abiding, remaining in him, I will produce much good fruit.

How do you abide? Or how does one abide you ask? Well, for me, it is daily, quiet time, reading his Word, studying it, meditating on it, and journaling what the Holy Spirit is showing me about God, his character and mine. It’s prayer, talking to God, listening to him throughout my day.

See God wants to transform my character, my heart. And he wants it for you too. We see this in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will” (NIV).

That transformation can also be called discipleship. Discipleship is not about behavior modification. It is heart transformation. It is not becoming a better version of yourself. It is surrendering your life to Jesus and letting him live in and through you.

God promises a heart transformation as spoken through the prophet, Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 36:26 it says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (NIV).

So I hope this will encourage you to abide in Christ daily and let him produce good fruit through you. Have a blessed day.