Posted by Johnny Richards

Think back with me for a minute to the time you began learning the alphabet. It may have been about the same time you were learning to read. I remember in school watching my teacher write out the letters on the chalkboard. I always liked her using the yellow chalk. For some reason I liked it better than the white. She would write each letter on the board, and we would have to write the letters on our papers. I don’t remember exactly how many times we had to write each letter, but I remember the letters going across my paper.

I’m going to attempt to use this newsletter space to give you an encouraging word for the beginning of each week, using the letters of the alphabet. I have not written these down already because I want to trust God to give me what I need to say each week. I will begin this week with the letter “A”. To me, there is no better word that starts with “A” than the word abide. I can move a little further and say “abide in Christ”. To abide in Christ means to stay connected with Christ. John 15:5 will probably come to mind when we think about abiding in Christ. Here are the words. “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.”

When I think about abiding in Christ, I think of constantly doing things or saying things that keep me focused on who Christ is. Singing hymns and christian music (in my car) helps me stay focused while driving. Plus, I have a great audience…me. Listening to good preaching on the radio helps me hear God’s word and ask Him to apply what I hear to my life. Doing something for someone else helps me remember that Christ is calling us to serve others. When I think of my life, God has blessed me and blesses me each and every day. Helping someone else, with something they may have trouble with, is a good way to keep me grounded in my faith.

Our scripture tells us to stay connected to Christ so we can bear much fruit. What is the fruit? The fruit is the fruit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. The fruit we will bear is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are all very pleasant words to read. These words are also very pleasant for others to see. I enjoy walking by apple trees, peach trees, pear trees and other trees that bear fruit. To see the delicious fruit hanging from the tree is a sign the tree is doing what it is supposed to be doing, bearing fruit. We are also to bear these fruit Paul mentions. The only way we can do it, especially with all the things taking place in life, is abiding in Christ. Until next week…

Peace and Blessings…