“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, Babylon, had become great, wealthy and strong. The hanging gardens of Babylon were one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. But Nebuchadnezzar did not credit the Lord God for his greatness. Although warned to “acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone He wishes,” twelve months later Nebuchadnezzar gazed over his kingdom and said, “ Is not this the great Babylon I have built…by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” Immediately, God radically pruned Nebuchadnezzar, cutting him back almost to the ground. Seven years later, Nebuchadnezzar raised His eyes toward heaven to praise, exalt and glorify the King of Heaven, and God restored his kingdom. Daniel 4 is the letter Nebuchadnezzar sent “to the peoples, nations and men of every language who live in all the world” to give glory to God for what He had done. Babylon prospered, until after Nebuchadnezzar’s death, his godless descendant, Belshazzar, came to power. Belshazzar and his kingdom were thrown into the fire.
Apart from Christ, can wealth, success and power be fruitful? No. Apart from Jesus, there is no fruit.
Can a person who sacrifices his life for a good cause, but does not love Jesus, live a fruitful life? No. Apart from Jesus, he can do nothing. If God is not glorified for this person’s work, who is?
The person who abides in Jesus, who depends on Him, follows Him and lives by His words, that person will have the mind of Christ, will know and be able to pray according to His will, and will bear much fruit. In this, God is glorified.
Ask yourself: Do you read the Bible regularly?
How can His words abide in you if you are too uninterested or busy to read the Bible in order to know His will and obey it?
What person in your life do you unrealistically hope that God will find acceptable because of good deeds?
How will you begin to pray for this person to believe?
Prayer: Lord God, teach me to abide always in you.