John 15:4-5 - "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me you can do nothing."
The most crucial way we abide in Jesus is daily Bible study and relational prayer. Mark this well: it is impossible to live in the true fullness and power of the Holy Spirit without daily prayer and close connection to God's Word! Neglecting daily time with God completely prevents spiritual cleansing and growth. Tragically, many modem believers have bought into the tragic unbiblical notion that all one needs is a brief two or three minute daily devotion.
Questions for Reflection: Do you spend significant time in daily Bible reading and prayer? (This must be more than a two or three minute devotion!) Indeed, how could we expect to experience genuine worship, thorough confession, biblical petitions and serious intercession in only two or three minutes a day? Have you been too "busy" to give God significant time? Remember, you will never be spiritually stronger than the strength and quality of your personal time with God. You must be willing to spend significant daily time with God (at least 30-45 minutes). Have you neglected to abide in a close relationship with Christ? Confess and forsake the deadly sin of neglecting significant Bible study and prayer. This is the very heart of your relationship to Jesus.
As we confess and forsake our failure to faithfully draw near to God in prayer and to study his word frequently and regularly, let us ever place our sole trust in the "author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
Acts 1:8 - "But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Beyond question, God has called all His children to verbally witness to others in daily life! If we fail to consistently witness, we become responsible for the lost condition of those around us. According to Scripture, their blood is then on our hands (Ezekiel 3:18).
It is not enough to say, "I witness just with my life." Neither is it sufficient to say: "Witnessing is just not my spiritual gift." By such a statement, you are actually saying you're not willing to endure even slight discomfort in order to tell others about Jesus. According to 1 Peter 3:15, every believer should be able and ready to present the gospel clearly and compellingly.
Questions for Reflection: Have you made a prayer list of people you consistently encounter in your daily course of life (store clerks, gas station attendants, work mates, classmates, neighbors, etc.)? Do you pray for them on a regular basis? Do you seek to show them special kindness? Do you witness to them about Christ? Do you leave gospel tracts in places you frequent? To be ashamed of Christ is a grievous sin against God and silence is one of our greatest failures! (Mark 8:38) Every believer should maintain a list of lost people for whom they pray regularly. All believers should pray for and witness to those with whom they have some connection (neighbors, classmates, family, etc.).
Have you failed to enroll in one of today's excellent witness training strategies? Today there is absolutely no excuse for any Christian not to be trained as a witness. If you have thus failed God, confess this serious sin and obey Him by becoming a consistent intercession and witness. I strongly suggest that you consider the Lighthouse Prayer Ministry for your own home.
As we confess our failure to obey Christ's great commission and our lack of compassion for lost souls all around us, as we endeavor to obey Him with a whole heart, let us rejoice in God's full acceptance for us and for others. (Romans 8:1; 1 John 1:9) His mercy is higher than the heavens!