Overwhelmed To Overflowing
After talking to a group of young ladies I realized just how overwhelmed they are with life right now. I have been praying for them. I, also, get overwhelmed with the negativity of the news and the burdens of this world. All week, I kept using the word “overwhelmed”. Last week I told them when we feel overwhelmed we must look up to see the light. There is no darkness where there is light! I asked God to help me to keep looking up to see what is far Greater than anything in this world. I cannot preach it if I do not practice it.
Sunday morning at our 8:15 outside service we opened with a prayer printed in the bulletin that read, “Help us to be more overwhelmed by Your grace than by the things of this world.” I just smiled because I knew God was talking to me! Sometimes I feel like I am so overflowing with His goodness that I wonder if others read and heard the same thing or if it was just for me. Our first song was, “Abide With Me.” These words brought tears to my eyes, “Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.” Wow! Wasn’t that what I had been asking?
Well, what could the sermon be about? Being overwhelmed. Of course it was! We talked about how many times have we tried (or are trying) to be the Master of the universe? We just need to line our will up with His or as a friend of mine prays, “God, help us to find our way in Your way.” That would take care of our feelings of being overwhelmed. It takes the stress out of our decisions.
We also talked about abiding in Him. The definition of abide is to accept or act in accordance with. John 15: 5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”NKJV I picture a grape vine and so many of us feel like our life is twisted, going in every direction just like that grape vine. Thankfully, God gently prunes our life.
John 15: 1-8, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
When we stay connected to God, then, we will have joy - no matter the circumstances. Even in Covid-19! John 15: 11, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” The only way we can be fruitful is to understand that we can not do this life alone. John 15: 5, “...for without Me you can do nothing.” If a branch is not connected to the vine it will wither and die, not bearing fruit. Notice the verse says, the branch bears much fruit, not produces. A branch, nor us, can produce fruit. The branch or us must abide on the vine. The vine will produce the fruit for the branch. When we bear much fruit we will live the life God called us to live. When we abide in Him, His desires for our life will bear fruit that remains throughout eternity! We will be overflowing with joy! I had come from feeling overwhelmed to overflowing with joy! God had a message for me in the opening prayer and then He just kept showing off! Thank You, God!
Are you overwhelmed? Look up and ask God to “shine through the gloom and point you to the skies.” Remember, “Jesus is calling.” And join me in praying, “Help us to be more overwhelmed by Your grace than by the things of this world. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.”