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Abiding in the Right Stuff

The 1983 film The Right Stuff is based on the 1979 book of the same name by Tom Wolfe. Like any professional career, you have to possess certain qualities to rise above other qualified individuals. Such was the case for any astronaut who wanted to take part in America’s first mission to successfully land on the moon. Unfortunately, many aspiring candidates were cut, deemed to not have the right stuff.

Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned, John 15:4-6.

One of Jesus’ disciples wrote two different letters in the first century. Yet, the same topic is addressed in each, one using an analogy shared by Jesus and another based upon common sense. The goal for any follower of Jesus is to abide in the Right Stuff. The apostle Paul provides the best contrast in Galatians 5:16-25. If you abide in God’s Spirit, spiritual fruit follows. Yet, if you abide in yourself, you have the wrong stuff.

Beloved, do not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world. By this you may know (perceive and recognize) the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges and confesses [the fact] that Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [actually] has become man and has come in the flesh is of God [has God for its source]; And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would [a]annul, destroy, [b]sever, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [[c]nonconfession] is the [spirit] of the antichrist, [of] which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world, 1 John 4:1-3.

If you are old and wise enough, you can clearly see who is abiding with God and those who are self-absorbed. John points to love as an indicator if you have the right stuff or not. Along the way, there are many spirits that daily deceive people through self-help or other man-made attempts to duplicate the love of God. However, only those who remain and stay connected to Jesus possess the right stuff. May today’s passages challenge you to get reconnected with Jesus.

by Jay Mankus


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