Simply Put Podcast—An Exciting Resource for Studying the Bible

Simply Put, Theology Matters

Theology matters because it’s the study of God and what we believe about Him.

But if you’re like me, theology can be daunting.

Until the Simply Put podcast.

As the name indicates, the Simply Put podcast puts theological truths into simple terms. Terms we can understand. And they do it in around six minutes per episode.

Check out what the creators of this podcast have to say about it:

As a new Christian, did you ever feel “stumped” by theology? Maybe you were listening to a sermon, and it seemed like the pastor was speaking another language. Or perhaps you picked up a study Bible and realized you may need a dictionary, too. From imputation to justification, theophany to theodicy, keeping all these concepts straight can be a challenge.

Simply Put is a podcast to help you build your Christian vocabulary. Each week, Barry Cooper explains a different theological term in clear, concise language and shares stories and illustrations that apply it to your life. Listen to this week’s episode to expand your understanding and deepen your faith, one word at a time.

On a non-spiritual note, Barry has a lovely British accent and studied theater. Listening to him is both educational and entertaining. Win-Win.

Say What?

Simply Put introduced me to a new word only seven episodes into the first season. I learned: Aseity of God.

Once I listened to the podcast, though, I realized I already knew this wonderful truth. I just didn’t know there was a single word that encompassed its full meaning.

That’s the beauty of learning theological terms.

No longer do we have to explain a character trait of God—like His aseity—each time we want to talk about the trait. We only need one word, like aseity.

If the person you’re talking with about the aseity of God is unfamiliar with the term, refer them to the Simply Put podcast—or my blog.

By the way, the Aseity of God means “God depends on nothing and no one for His existence.”

Discover its full meaning by listening to the podcast. Or read about it in my Character Traits of God post on aseity—once I write it. (Coming soon! In fact, I’m going to add a lot more traits to this list with the help of this excellent podcast.)

Until I write that post or you listen to the podcast, the following post will give you a good idea of what the aseity of God means. I alluded to it even though I didn’t know the term yet. (Thus, you won’t see it mentioned in the post. I should probably fix that.)

What Does the Name Jehovah (Yahweh) Elohim Say About God?

Which Theological Terms Do You Want to Understand Better?

I’m excited about the many theological terms they’re going to cover. Which ones are you looking forward to hearing Barry discuss? I’ll also address them in my Character Traits of God series. I may have already. 

Tune in each week to Simply Put and gain a better understanding and ability to explain these powerful truths of God more simply.

Subscribe today. Simply Put is an outreach of Ligonier ministries.

God is Eternal (From the Never-Ending, Ever-Growing List of the Character Traits of God)

God is Eternal: From the Never-ending, Ever-growing List of the Character Traits of God. (

They say,” Nothing lasts forever.” 

They are wrong. 

Three things last forever:


His Word,

and people.


God is eternal. There’s never been a time when He didn’t exist. 

He wasn’t born. He wasn’t created. 

He is. He has always been. And He will always continue to be.


“Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2 NASB).

God’s Word

God’s Word is God, so it’s only logical that it will last forever.

I don’t mean God’s Word as in the printed paper and ink of the Bible is God. That would be silly. But the Gospel of John tells us:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1 ESV). 

John is referring to Jesus Christ in this passage. Jesus is the Word. And His Word stands forever.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8 NASB).

Even before God spoke His Word to create the world, His Word existed from eternity past in Jesus Christ and will stand on into eternity future.


We are not God.

I know. I forget that at times, too.

We aren’t God, but He created us to be eternal.

Remembering that everyone is eternal should put an urgency into our hearts to share the truth of the Gospel message with others. And it should give us comfort.

A friend of mine reminded me of the comfort this truth offers when he spoke of a couple whose child lived only two brief minutes. Their next child lived only two months.

The heartbroken couple couldn’t understand why God would create children to only live for two minutes and two months.

A friend encouraged them that God didn’t create them to live that short. He created them to live eternally. It was only their time on earth that was short. Their children are more alive in heaven now than they ever were on earth. 

None of us will live forever on earth — we can thank sin and death for that — but our souls will live forever. Where our souls will live, however, is up to us.

Where Will We Spend Our Eternity?

God has offered eternity in heaven with Him by His grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. 

It’s an extravagant offer, but it comes with a time limit.

The offer expires when we do.

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Those who choose No to God’s offer will spend their eternity separated from Him in hell. It’s a horrible reality, but it’s the choice we make when we choose to reject His Son and His gift of salvation. 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NASB). 

“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46 NASB). 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB).

Knowing God is Eternal Makes a Difference Today

Knowing God is eternal helps us live today.

We don’t have to scramble to “have it all” here because we’re spending eternity there.

And the all we’ll have there will outshine anything we have here — so long as your there is heaven. Otherwise, get it here while you can because there will be hell. Literally.

God works each day with eternity in mind.

Too often, though, we have now in mind. We want God to fix our problems nowWe want Him to fix this world now.

Or do we? Consider this:

If we knew everything God knows about yesterday, today, or forever, we’d do and time everything exactly as He has.

So, maybe we don’t really want Him to fix everything on our timetable or in our way. We just think we do because we don’t know what we don’t know.

Think George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life. When he got what he thought he wanted, he realized he didn’t really want what he wanted after all. 

Instead, what we really want in our deepest heart is to learn to trust and rest in God’s eternal plan. 

Knowing God is eternal helps us put today into perspective.

God isn’t in a hurry. He has forever to work out His plan, and it’s a great one. No, it’s a perfect one.

Sometimes I’m impatient as I pray for things. My heart strangles from the overwhelming desire for God to answer my prayer now.

I’ve laid awake for hours, begging God for the answer my heart craves — answers I imagine must also be His heart’s desire. Peace eludes me until I remember He’s eternal.

God is not always in a hurry to answer my prayers, but not because He doesn’t care. Because He always knows the right thing to do at the right time.

I can rest because God never does.

God is Eternal: From the Never-ending, Ever-growing List of the Character Traits of God. (’s Word on His Eternality

“For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever” (Isaiah 57:15a NASB).

“Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2 NASB).

“Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:9,10 NASB).

“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’” (Exodus 3:14 NASB).

How will knowing that God is eternal make a difference in your life today? Leave a comment below. Thanks!

God is Eternal & What That Means #God. #KnowingGod Click To Tweet

If you’d like to go deeper in your study of the character traits of God, here are a few resources I recommend. Click on the photos for more information about these great books by A. W. Tozer: 

(Note: These links are affiliate links through I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to In other words, if you purchase through any of these links, I receive a small bonus. You are, of course, free to purchase without going through these links.)

Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” I said, “Huh?”

If you've ever wanted to understand Jesus' parable of the Vine and the Branches, you've found the right place. David Tryon explains it well. (

Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” I said, “Huh?”

Then He said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

That sounded important, yet still my response was, “Huh?”

Maybe if I’d lived on a vineyard in Italy this would’ve made sense, but I grew up outside of Atlanta, GA, better known for peaches, peanuts and red clay.

I couldn’t wrap my brain around how one could actually “abide in Christ.” Until . . . David Tryon and his article “The Vine and the Branches.”

Tryon made sense of this confusing, but life-changing truth.

I re-wrote all of it into more modern English, but I have no idea where it’s disappeared to, so I’m including the version my dear friend and mentor Grace gave me years ago.

Yes, this is long, but I didn’t want to leave any of it out for those of you who, like me, desperately want this truth to sink in and make a difference.

For those who don’t have the time to delve into this long article, I’ll be addressing this in much shorter clips soon, but please consider studying this. It changed me.

If God can use this to change me, why would He not do the same for you?  



David Tryon


There are many Christians, struggling to live the Christian life, who have never discovered where the strength to live that life is to be found.

There are many earnest believers, young and old, who are continually being disappointed and cast down because they are finding their own resources so inadequate to meet the demands of real Christian living.

There are hundreds of Christians of all ages who are hungering and thirsting after a fuller, deeper life than that which they now experience.

What they need to know, and to know experimentally as well as mentally, is that all the resources of the Christian life are in Christ, and in Him alone, and that He lives in them by the Holy Ghost.

Perhaps there is no better and no simpler illustration of these truths than the Lord’s parable of the vine and the branches in John 15.

We shall look together at some of the great lessons which this parable teaches, with the prayer that God will use these messages to bring great blessing into the lives of each of us.



“I am the Vine,” said the Lord Jesus, “ye are the branches” (verse 5).

Every true Christian is “in Christ,” a branch in the vine, joined to the Lord, a partaker of His nature.

“I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit, He taketh away…. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered: and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

The first lesson we learn from this parable of the vine and the branches is that a branch is useless if it does not bear fruit.

We need to be careful, when trying to understand the teaching of a parable such as this, not to press the details of the parable too far. There are those who teach that these words show that it is possible for a man to be “in Christ” and out again; to be saved and then lost; to have eternal life and then lose it. This cannot be. There are clear statements in Scripture to the contrary.

We must remember that no earthly parable can fully express all sides of eternal truth. Yet these words of the Lord Jesus are very very solemn words. Perhaps we shall more clearly understand the truth contained in them if we compare them with some words of St. Paul which teach similar truth.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (I Corinthians iii. 13-15).

The apostle is writing about Christian service and he likens it to a building. It is possible he teaches, for a servant of Christ, whilst building on the One True Foundation (verse 11), to fail to put into his building such materials as can stand the test of fire with the result that one day all his life work will be burned up, proving that he has been utterly useless, and all his work completely wasted.

This is what the Lord Jesus is teaching under the figure of the branch that does not bear fruit. A branch that does not bear fruit is a useless branch; its existence is a wasted existence; it is only fit for the fire.

How tremendously solemn this is. What a terrible, what a tragic thing it must be to be a Christian who is not bearing fruit! What a tragedy is the life of the careless Christian, the lukewarm Christian, the sinning Christian, the idle Christian, the worldly Christian, the prayerless Christian! How very seriously concerned we all should be as to whether we are branches that are bearing fruit, or whether we are fruitless, useless branches.



These words are certain to be read by many a fruitless Christian. Are you one of them? Do you know, as you read these words, that your Christian life has been a fruitless life?

It is not necessary to explain to you what is meant by ­”fruitless”; you simply know that you are not fulfilling the purpose for which God saved you, just as a branch that is not bearing fruit is not fulfilling the purpose for which it is in the vine.

Probably you judge your condition by certain indications in your life some sin that has dominion over you, a failure to witness, a lack of prayer, a distaste for Bible Reading, no power in service, a love for worldly things.

This may not be due to your carelessness or indifference. You may have made great efforts to become a fruitful Christian, to witness, to pray, to overcome sin. Yet you look back on failure. You know there has been no result.

On the other hand, it may be that you have just not let ” fruit-bearing ” concern you very much. You are a Christian (you tell yourself), your sins are forgiven, you will go to heaven. That is the most important thing. You have not felt that these other things matter very much. Your life is fruitless because you have not been particularly concerned whether you bear fruit or not.

But whether your life is fruitless because of your carelessness and indifference, or in spite of much deep concern, and longing, and striving, you know it is fruitless.



Before we go any further with the study of this parable, will you read again those words of the Lord Jesus about the fruitless branch, and in His Presence think for a moment of the tragedy of such a life.

What a tragedy it is in the sight of God. What a disappointment and grief to the husbandman is the branch that bears no fruit, that completely fails to fulfill the purpose for which it is in the vine.

What a grief to the heart of the Great Husbandman must your fruitless Christian life be, a continual frustration of the wonderful purposes of grace He had in mind when He placed you in Christ.

What a tragedy is such a life as far as others are concerned.

There are weary, fainting, thirsty, bitter lives in this wilderness world of ours; these lives are coming into contact with yours every day. It is God’s purpose that they should be refreshed and strengthened and sweetened by the fruit which you shall bear. And because you are a fruitless branch, these weary, thirsting, perishing ones have passed you by unrefreshed, unblessed.

Oh, the tragedy of it! Little have you realized the harm you have been doing; the love and joy and peace of which others have been robbed because you have borne no fruit. What a tragedy such a life is from your own point of view. It is a wasted life.

A branch is only in the vine for one purpose, to bear fruit. If it fails to do that, its existence is wasted. As far as its usefulness is concerned, it might as well not be there. It is no use at all. Your fruitless life is a wasted, useless life.

At the judgment seat of Christ you will suffer loss. All the produce of those wasted years will be burned up. What awful, solemn mystery surrounds those words of the apostle, “But he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire “.

This then is the first lesson we must learn from this parable, that if our life is a fruitless life it is a tragically wasted life, useless to God, useless to man, and an irreparable loss to ourselves.

Oh, let us ask God to teach us how we may bear fruit to His satisfaction and glory, to the blessing of others, and to the full salvation of our own souls.


If you've ever wanted to understand Jesus' parable of the Vine and the Branches, you've found the right place. David Tryon explains it well. (  “THE BRANCH CANNOT . . .”

Now we come to a second lesson of the utmost importance.

“As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me . . . for without Me (or, severed from Me), ye can do nothing.”

So we learn that a branch cannot bear fruit by any effort of its own. Severed from the vine the branch can do nothing.

That fact is so obvious that we are inclined to pass it by without further thought, and so miss the far-reaching implications of this part of the parable. Think of it for a moment.

There is a branch, severed from the vine, lying before you on the ground. How utterly helpless it is to produce any fruit!

If a branch could have feelings and understanding it might be deeply conscious of its uselessness, and the danger in which it lay of being cast upon the fire. It might be full of the deepest longings after a life of fruitfulness.

It might make mighty resolutions to do all in its power to produce fruit. But it would be utterly powerless to make any move towards satisfying those longings, or carrying out those resolutions. That severed branch is a picture of the most complete helplessness.

“As the branch cannot . . . NO MORE can ye.”

Will you sit still a moment now, and let those two words “no more” sink deep into your heart?

You can do no more towards producing the fruit which God requires in your life than can that severed branch.


You may be deeply convicted of your useless, fruitless, Christian life. You may be stirred up to a great longing that things should be different you may have been planning and contriving and resolving in order that your life may be different in future. But you can do nothing.

No stirring up, no effort, no determination, no strength of will, can make your life what God wants it to be. “As the branch cannot . . . no more can ye.”



Do not misunderstand this teaching of the Lord Jesus.

Many Christians who think that they have received this truth have not even got a glimpse of the depth to which it goes.

Unconsciously they are placing upon it limitations imposed by their own preconceived ideas of the possibilities that are in human nature.

The Lord Jesus is not teaching that:

because of your natural weakness, you need help to bring you up to a standard of life which you cannot reach yourself;

that by your own goodness and strength and courage you can get so far, but not far enough to reach God’s standard;

that if you made an immense effort it would help a great deal, but because of your natural limitations that effort needs to be supplemented by His power;

that a better, stronger, braver man than you are could get further than you can get.

That is not what He is teaching at all. This statement goes far, far deeper than that.

Go back to the parable again and ask yourself the question, How much can a branch do toward producing fruit?

Can a branch have some part in the production of the fruit?

Is it conceivable that if we found a branch clever enough and strong enough it could produce fruit of itself?

The answers are obvious. The branch does not possess in itself even the smallest glimmerings of fruit-producing life.

The best branch is as helpless as the worst; the strongest as helpless as the weakest, the most beautiful as helpless as the ugliest.

The branch whatever its natural condition, cannot …

“No more” can you.

It is not a question of whether you are strong or weak; good or bad, brave or cowardly; clever or foolish; experienced or inexperienced. Whatever your natural condition you are absolutely helpless to begin to live the life God requires.

Whatever your gifts, accomplishments virtues, experience may be, they are of no more help to you in producing fruit than is natural beauty in a branch.

In you (that is, in your flesh) dwells no good thing, not the first faint flickerings of the life that produces fruit.

Hundreds of Christians never find that out.

They spend their lives fighting against the admission of it.

They know they come short, but they think it is not so short but that a greater effort, backed up by the Holy Spirit’s power, will put them right. And so they ask His help, and try again.



What is the result?

The result is what is sometimes called an ” up and down” Christian experience.

When they appear to be advancing in the Christian life; when they receive indications that God is blessing their service; when they get some definite, unmistakable answer to prayer; when they overcome some temptation; when they discover within themselves some thought of holiness, some virtue, some desire for the things of God, then they are “up”.

On the other hand, when they are conscious of failure and lack of progress; when they see no blessing in their work; when prayer is apparently unanswered; when sin gets the better of them; when they get some glimpse of the corrupt, sinful state of their natural hearts, then they are “down.”

They are “up” when they appear to be producing fruit, and “down” when they can see no fruit; ever battling against the admission of the truth that “as the branch cannot . . . no more can” they.

They know nothing of the rest which remains for the people of God, and which can only be entered by ceasing from their works.

Their life is one continual effort to produce fruit for God’s glory, to prove to themselves and to God that the branch can, after all, do a little to help itself.

There are many earnest Christians who have lived like this for years, and have become more and more disappointed with their Christian experience.

There are many young Christians, who, having begun well, have gradually slipped back, as they have proved by bitter experience how utterly unable they are to reach the standard which God requires.

Are you like that?

You know your life is fruitless, but it is not because you do not care.

You are tremendously concerned that your life should bear fruit; you have tried your hardest to be the best for God, and you have failed.

“It is no good,” you say, “I cannot be a keen Christian.”

Is that what you say? Is it?

Do you see what you are admitting?

You are admitting the very thing that God has been asking you to admit!

The Lord Jesus said, “As the branch cannot . . . no more can ye,” and you didn’t believe it; so He has been letting you find it out by experience.

And now, at last, you say, “It’s no good. I cannot….” You are admitting at last what He has been trying to tell you all along.

You have come to the place where He can begin to do His work in you.

Troubled Christian, lately you have said often, almost in despair, “I cannot.” It is true; yet if you could but see, that is no reason for despair, but rather for joyful expectancy that your barren days are past, for now God is going to show you what HE is waiting to do in those who “cannot,” and who admit it. You cannot.

Consent fully to that position of complete powerlessness. Do not be afraid to let go every hope of being able to make the smallest contribution towards the production of real fruit. Turn your back on self, and refuse to expect any good thing from it any more.

And now listen as He tells you of the Life which is going to do through the branch what the branch can never do by any effort of its own.


3. “I IN YOU”

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.”

“Abide in Me, and I in you.”

We have thought of the tragedy of the fruitless branch, and seen how impossible it is for a branch to produce fruit by any effort of its own.

Now the vine and the branches have another lesson to teach us a lesson which only those are prepared to learn who have in some degree mastered the former lessons.

If God expects me to bear fruit in my Christian life, and if I cannot produce that fruit by any effort of my own, how then does He intend that fruit to be produced?

We have the answer in this parable.

The fruit is produced by the life of the vine in the branch.

God intends that the fruit in my life should be produced by the Life of the Lord Jesus living in me.

“I live,” said the Apostle Paul, “yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2. 20).

“Not I,” not by any strength or goodness of my own, no more than there is any life in the branch because of anything the branch has done,”but Christ liveth in me.”

His life is working in me the things which are pleasing to God, just as the life of the vine works in the branch to bring forth fruit.

This is God’s plan for every Christian, that the Lord Jesus, Who lives in us by His Holy Spirit, should work in us all things that are pleasing to God, bringing forth fruit in us to God’s glory.

When you have seen that, you have seen the greatest secret of the life which God wants you to live.

The Holy Spirit dwells in every Christian, and His purpose is to do all the work that God requires, all the work which is necessary for the production of the fruit for which God is looking. Only those who have learned the lesson of the utter helplessness of the branch can fully appreciate this wonderful truth.

Just in so far as you have grasped the great fact that you are utterly helpless even to begin to live a life which is well-pleasing to God will you understand the meaning of this, that God has given you the Holy Spirit to do ALL the work.

His plan is not that the Holy Spirit should help you to bring forth fruit, any more than the vine helps the branch.

It is not even that the Holy Spirit should work, and that you should help Him all you can.

The branch cannot help the vine in any way. No. Christ must do ALL in you, even as the vine must do ALL in the branch.



Let me emphasize that, for it is a truth that we are so slow to learn.

How much does the vine life do towards producing the fruit?


How much does the branch do to help?


How much must the life of the Holy Spirit do in you?


How much must you do to help?


Just as Christ in His death and resurrection did everything for your justification, and you did nothing, but simply accepted the benefits of a work finished nineteen centuries before you were born so Christ in you must do everything for your sanctification, and you must do nothing, but simply accept the benefits of a work which He will complete as surely as He has begun it.

“But,” you ask,” must I not do anything? ”

No, nothing.

“Oh, but now you are going too far. You can’t carry things to that length. Of course I must do something. Mustn’t I read my Bible and pray; mustn’t I witness for Christ; mustn’t I surrender everything to Him; mustn’t I do good works whenever I get the opportunity?”

Do you know what you are like? You are like a branch saying, “It’s no good you telling me that I mustn’t do anything in order to produce fruit. That’s going too far. Of course I must do something. Mustn’t I produce fruit?”

I should say to that branch, “Yes, of course you must produce fruit, but you’ll never produce fruit by trying to. It is not the fruit you need to be concerned about, but the life. If once you have got that, the fruit will come all right.”

And so I reply to you, Yes, of course you must read your Bible and pray and witness and do good works; of course you must surrender completely to Christ, but don’t you see, all these things are part of the fruit.

You cannot do them by trying to do them; you can only imitate them; you can only be like a branch tying on artificial fruit, because it does not understand that real fruit must be the result of the vine life within.

Leave the fruit for the moment.

Apart from Him you can do NOTHING; and prayer and witness and surrender are all included in that “nothing.”

Every single bit of fruit has to be the result of the life of Christ in you.

It is the Life you need to be concerned about; if you have got that, the fruit will surely follow.



So leave the fruit just now. Forget, just for the moment, about the need for Bible reading, prayer, witness, and all the other things, and concentrate your thought on the Life which must be the source of all these things.

That Life is Christ in you.

He lives in you by the Holy Spirit.

He waits and longs to do His perfect work in you.

He cannot do it while you try to do it for Him.

Is that what has been wrong with your Christian life-you have been trying to do His work for Him?

You have read the Bible and tried to understand its meaning. You have succeeded in getting quite a lot of it into your head, and perhaps can give very nice addresses from it, but it does not live to you.

You have tried to pray, but it has been a burden, and you know little of real fellowship with God.

You have witnessed but there has been little power.

You have tried to surrender everything to God, but more and more you are finding that your sinful heart does not want His will.

You are trying to do His work for Him; that is your trouble.

You have taken upon yourself the responsibility of a work for which He wants you to cast the responsibility on Him.

It is His work to make His Word live to you, to open the eyes of your understanding to behold wondrous things out of His law.

It is His work to witness with your spirit that you are a child of God, till prayer becomes to you the glad fellowship of a child with an infinitely loving Father.

It is His work to give you power for service, filling you with Himself, and making perfect His strength in your weakness, so that, as you lean on His strength, things happen as a result of your witness that are worthy of His power.

It is His work to bring you to that complete surrender which He requires, shining the light of His Presence upon the things displeasing to Him, filling you with His love till you see that it is best for Him to have His way with you.

This is all His work. You cannot do it for Him. You cannot in any way prepare yourself for His working. You must stop your futile efforts and look for Him.

He is in you, God’s full provision for all you need. He waits to do His work, if you will let Him. He will work so surely, so wonderfully, if you will give up your feeble trying and cast yourself on Him. He will perfect the work which you cannot even begin.

Will you not look to Him now, tell Him that you are not going to interfere with His working any more, and ask Him to complete in you the work which He has begun?

“Work on then Lord, till on my soul
Eternal light shall break,
And in Thy likeness perfected,
I satisfied shall wake.”



We come now to a critical point in our studies of the Parable of the Vine.

We have seen how necessary it is that we should bear fruit to the glory of God; we have seen that we cannot bear this fruit by any effort of our own; and we have seen that God’s way is for the fruit to be produced by the Life of Christ in us.

The questions that naturally come to our lips at this point are:

But how is all this to become real in my experience?

How can I enter from a life of fruitlessness and failure into this life in which Christ, by His Holy Spirit, is working in me?

How can my nothingness be connected with His fulness?

How is this wonderful prospect, of having the Holy Ghost working in me, making Christ real, making the Bible a new and living Book, making service fruitful and prayer a joy-how is it to change from a wonderful prospect to a personal reality?

What must I do in order that all this may be real in my life?



Before we look at the answer which the Lord Jesus gives to these and similar questions, let me emphasize one thing. The step from a life of striving and struggling and emptiness, of failure and feebleness, into a life of fulness and power and satisfaction, is a very, very simple one.

I want to lay great stress on that point. It is very important.

Will you accept it and believe it before we go any farther?

You can begin to enjoy all the blessing we have been thinking of by a very simple step.

“Oh, how unlike the complex works of man,
 Heaven’s easy, artless, unencumber’d plan.”

Satan will try to make you think it is complicated. He will tell you of all sorts of things that you ought to be and do. Do not listen to him.

Leave alone, for the moment, all the things that you ought to be and do. As we have already seen, they are the fruit.

“I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Cor. 11:3).

The way to this life of fulness is very simple indeed.

Now listen to the words of the Lord Jesus:

“Abide in Me, and I in you. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit” (John 15:4-5).

Here, then, is the simple lesson that we have to learn now. We can put it like this: 

All that the branch has to do is to remain in the vine, and so the life of the vine will remain in the branch.

“Abide in me and I in you.”

“Abide” simply means “remain.”

The branch is in the vine. In order to have life flowing through, it has to remain there, that is all.

When you received the Lord Jesus, God forgave your sins and placed you in Christ. In order that His life may flow through, you have only to remain where you have been placed.

“Yes,” you say, “but what exactly does that mean?”

Let me answer with another question:

What did you do in order to have your sins forgiven, and to be placed in Christ?

Think back to the time of your conversion. You heard that the Lord Jesus had died that you might be forgiven. And you just trusted Him to save you because He had died.

Very simple, wasn’t it?

Forgiveness was there for you all the time. It became yours when you took it. That taking is called FAITH.

Then God placed you in Him.

So all you did in order to be placed in Christ was simply to trust in Him.



Now, how are you to remain, to “abide” in Him? In exactly the same way as you were placed in Him.

Listen while He tells you that you are a branch in Him, the True Vine. And then just simply trust Him that His life is flowing through you.

So many people make the mistake of thinking that they got placed in Christ by trusting, and that after that they must bear fruit by trying.


You remain in Christ in the same simple way that you were placed in Him. BY FAITH.

Faith is hearing God’s word and acting on it. That is how you abide in Christ.

You hear His word that you are a branch. Then you take Him at His word.

You say, “Lord, if I am a branch and in Thee, I thank Thee for it. I thank Thee, that just now I am in Thee, and Thy life flowing through. So I shall no more bother and try and struggle to be a Christian, but live my ordinary life counting that Thou art living through me.”



You see, it is just a matter of taking a position that is already yours.

So many Christians will not take the glorious position which is theirs in Christ, and so they miss all the blessing.

It is as if a very rich man owning a great mansion and a vast estate became possessed with the idea that he was poor, and shut himself up in a small attic at the top of his mansion, and wished all day that he was rich.

He dressed in the shabbiest clothes, and ate the scantiest fare, and sat on the floor because he thought he could not afford a chair, and made baskets in order to earn a living.

And all day long he wondered how he could get enough money to buy a big mansion and own a vast estate.

There he would be, living in a little, cramped room with scarcely enough food to eat, and dressed almost in rags, existing like a pauper.

Why? Simply because he had a position which he would not take.

But it would be a very simple thing for him to change his method of living.

He would need first to have his eyes opened to the fact that he was actually living in a great mansion and that it was all his.

Once he had seen that, it would be the simplest thing to change his whole life. He would only have to act on the knowledge that he had.

He need not even leave the room to begin with; he need not change his ragged clothes. There and then, sitting on the floor of that attic in all his apparent poverty, he could take the step that would be the entry into a new life.

He need only say, “Why, I see it now. I have all that I have been wanting. All that I have most desired is mine. From now on I will live as if I had it, and be a fool no longer.”

The devil has filled the minds of many Christians with the delusion that they are poor, and in their poverty they must work and grind and toil in order to buy the blessings which are already theirs in Christ.

Perhaps he has deluded you in that way, and now you are just beginning to see that all that you need you have in Christ.

That is the fact. There is no need of yours which is not fully met in Him.

You cannot name a need which He does not fill. All you need you have now in Him.

And you are in Him.

You only need to take the position which is already yours.


Printed copies of this article in tract form are available from:
AFRICA EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP, Post Office Box 1679, Bloomfield, New Jersey 07003 (Except that I couldn’t find it on the internet, so you may want to just print this out for personal study.)

David Tryon isn’t talking about material wealth. He’s talking about something much greater. He’s talking about spiritual wealth, blessings and power flowing through us to live without fear, anger, or pride.

Let’s take the position we already have and walk in it!

Click below to download and print a PDF version of the above, which will be in its original formatting. Longer paragraphs, thus fewer pages to print:



And thanks for sharing this with others!

Don’t Miss This Fascinating Interview with NFL Player Turned Doctor, Samkon Gado

Read the powerful story of Samkon Gado, who never let the facts interfere with the possibilities.

Read the powerful story of Samkon Gado, who never let the facts interfere with the possibilities.

When God wants to do something great, He begins with a difficulty. When He wants to do something amazing, He begins with an impossibility. 

Meet Samkon Gado.

Scott McCausey interviewed Samkon tonight on 

Click here for the link.

Did I make that link big enough? I didn’t want you to miss it.

Go to the link to check out photos, a short article about this great man of faith through whom God has done amazing things, and listen to him share God’s story.

Below is the post I wrote when my article about Samkon came out in Reach Out, Columbia magazine:


Those are the words that flew out of my mouth when Lori Hatcher, the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine, asked me if I wanted to write an article about Samkon Gado.

Samkon not only graduated from my two oldest children’s alma mater, Ben Lippen High School, but he also played one of my favorite sports at the highest level (and made the NFL record books in the process). He then went on to study medicine, just like my father. 

Samkon did all of this because He trusted in God to do the impossible through him. He never let the facts interfere with the possibilities. 

A story of such powerful faith needed to be told, and I can’t thank Reach Out, Columbia magazine enough for letting me be the one to tell it.

Click the link below to read the article in Reach Out, Columbia magazine. 


Then check out all their excellent articles by clicking this link to their home page:

Reach Out, Columbia Magazine

After you listen to the radio show, jump back on here and let me know what part of Samkon’s story impacted you the most.

Don't miss @CDSPEAKUP: Samkon Gado - The Impossible story of #NFL Player To Dr. #GodStory Click To Tweet

Are You Hungry for God — Starving For Time? Here’s Your Answer

Devotional for Busy Women: Hungry for God . . . Starving for Time by Lori Hatcher (Buy it today!)

Devotional for Busy Women: Hungry for God . . . Starving for Time by Lori Hatcher (Buy it today!)

Busy women still need to eat, but sometimes a full-course meal doesn’t fit into the schedule.

A power bar will, though! 

Busy women also need to spend daily time at the feet of God in His Word, but sometimes that time doesn’ fit into the schedule either.

Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women fits perfectly, though!

And it’s here just in time for Christmas gifts — and for your own busy Christmas season. 

When I asked Lori Hatcher, my friend, editor, and author of Hungry for God, Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotion for Busy Women, if I could introduce you to her excellent devotional, she graciously sent me a copy of one of the devotions found in her book. 

It challenged and encouraged me — like the other devotions in her book.

Yes, I already have my copy! 

Enjoy this free sneak peek, and then check out her link below. Y

ou may win a free Kindle Fire HD 7″.

Giveaway: FREE Kindle Fire HD 7″ loaded with Christian books. (Tweet this)


 ____________________________ † ____________________________


My Latest Humiliation

By Lori Hatcher

Facetime: God, sometimes I’m very self-absorbed. How can I become more aware of ways to help others?

She shamed me, this woman with the big smile and even bigger umbrella.

It all began in the checkout line at the grocery store. I made small talk with the cashier as she scanned my groceries and handed them off to the clean-cut bagger standing nearby. Thankful I didn’t have to bag them myself, I scanned my card and tucked the receipt into my purse.

Rain had been falling all afternoon, and I was thankful to have my umbrella. As I left the store, I popped the handle and raised it over my head. I briefly considered sharing it with my bag boy, following closely behind me; but I dismissed the idea. Sharing an umbrella, I decided, should be reserved for close friends, spouses, and members of my immediate family. Not strangers. I didn’t feel comfortable inviting this nice young man into my personal space. Nor did I feel comfortable inserting myself into his.

I plowed on ahead into the rain until a cheerful voice stopped me in my tracks.

“Here you go!” she said, the lady with the big smile. I turned to see her holding an even bigger umbrella over my bag boy’s head. His grateful smile spoke volumes.

“I’m so sorry,” I called out, substituting my umbrella canopy for hers when we reached my car. She vanished, leaving me to my embarrassment. The bag boy chattered good-naturedly, oblivious to my chagrin.

I pondered the experience later, still smarting from humiliation and regret. How often, I wondered, do I hesitate to serve someone, hindered by boundaries of my own making? How often do I see a physical, emotional, or spiritual need and fail to step up because it makes me uncomfortable? How many opportunities have I let slip by while I weighed the options of whether or not to obey the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit?

Too many, I’m sure.

But I don’t always stay safely in my comfort zone. Three weeks ago I threw caution to the wind and asked a patient if I could pray for him and his upcoming surgery. Last week I made a meal for a young woman newly released from the hospital and brought it to her doorstep, uninvited and unannounced. Just yesterday I shared an example of a poor parenting decision I’d made in the hopes that another mom might learn from my mistake.

But today I was selfishly unaware of the needs of those around me.

Tomorrow when I awaken, the slate will be clean, and a new day will stretch before me. Rain or shine, I’ll be ready to minister to someone in Jesus’ name. Just as Jesus “went around doing good” (Acts 10:38), I’ll remember that service to others is the best sacrifice to God I can make.

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16

 ____________________________ † ____________________________

Enter to win a FREE Kindle Fire HD 7"

Enter to win a FREE Kindle Fire HD 7″

In connection with her book launch, Lori’s giving away a FREE Kindle Fire HD 7”.

For more details, visit Hungry for God … Starving for Time on Facebook. 

(You don’t need to have a Facebook account to view it or win it.) 

________ † _________

Meet Lori:

Lori Hatcher (Hungry for God...Starving for Time)

Lori Hatcher (Hungry for God…Starving for Time)

Lori knows what it’s like to be busy. And what it’s like to struggle to make time for God. Her passion is helping women connect with God in the craziness of everyday life. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God is the nutrition women need to get through the day. A Yankee transplant living in Columbia, South Carolina, Lori uses her speaking and writing ministry to equip and empower women. She’d love to connect with you on her blog (, on Facebook – Hungry For God, and Twitter @lorihatcher2.



Please share this post with your friends. Every woman needs to know about this book, plus you’ll give them a chance to win a FREE Kindle Fire HD, too. Sharing is caring!

Related Post:  When Your Soul is Drowning by Lori Hatcher 

Enjoy Articles I’ve Written for Other Publications

Come on over to my site to see where else I've been writing.

See where else I’ve been writing.


I’ve been blessed to write articles for other wonderful publications. It occurred to me you might be interested in reading some of them.

Below is are links to the publications and my articles.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them. 


Click to view post: What if We Lived What We Say We Believe? (Guideposts August 17, 2015)

Click to view post: What if We Lived What We Say We Believe? (Guideposts August 17, 2015)

What if we lived what we say we believe?

“Not always easy, but always right.” 

That’s what one Facebook reader wrote in response to my question.

Michelle Medlock Adams, an author, speaker and generous friend, writes the excellent Guideposts column “Deadlines, Grocery Lines, Laugh Lines.” She graciously featured my blog post in her column — and on my birthday no less.

I’ve been thrilled by the response. The number of people on Guideposts’ Facebook page who’ve shown that their hearts are set on living out authentic faith has been amazing.

It’s encouraging to see the passion of so many who want to present to the world an accurate reflection of Christ in all they say and do. 

Click on the link below or the photo above to read my article:

What If We Lived What We Say We Believe? (on Guideposts: Deadlines, Grocery Lines, Laugh Lines)

Click to view post: What if We Lived What We Say We Believe? (Guideposts: Deadlines, Grocery Lines, Laugh Lines, August 17, 2015)

Clubhouse Jr. Magazine
Published by Focus on the Family


Fun facts about cows for kids "How Now, Mooo Cow?" by Jean Wilund (Clubhouse Jr Magazine)

Fun facts about cows for kids "How Now, Mooo Cow?" by Jean Wilund (Clubhouse Jr Magazine)

Click either of the photos above or the link below to read the post on this fun article about cows that Clubhouse Jr. let me write for them. 

How Now, Mooo Cow?


Click the photo to read the children's story "The Right Size." It's for anyone who's ever wondered if they were "enough."

Click photo to read the full story, "The Right Size" by Jean Wilund. A story for anyone who's ever felt they weren't enough.

Click photo to read the full story, “The Right Size” by Jean Wilund. A story for anyone who’s ever felt they weren’t enough.

I’m grateful to Focus on the Family and Clubhouse Jr. Magazine for publishing my children’s story, “The Right Size.”

Click the photo above or the link below to read my inspiration for the story.

The Right Size


Reach Out, Columbia Magazine

Reach Out, Columbia
Magazine reaches out to everyone living in the greater Columbia, SC area.

The articles are written from a Christian worldview. There are a wide varieties of subjects from Leadership, Finances, and Business to Parenting, Music, and Before and After Stories. You’ll find a large selection of “Overcoming” stories and articles as well as devotionals and inspirational stories.

While many articles are often focused on this area of the country, there are plenty to interest you no matter where you live, such as mine below:

Click photo to read the inspiring story of Charles Livingston ~ Free Indeed (via as featured in Reach Out, Columbia magazine)

Click the photo above or the link below to read the amazing story of Charles Livingston, a man imprisoned for 33 years for a crime he didn’t commit but who found true freedom behind bars.

And read about the exciting, incredible ways God’s been using this article since it got published.

Freedom Behind Bars:
The Charles Livingston Story ~ Free Indeed

300 Dinners Create a Lifetime of Memories

Click photo to read the story: The Haven - Changing Lives One Cup At a Time

Click photo to read the story: The Haven – Changing Lives One Cup At a Time

The Haven Coffee House:
Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

The Haven Coffee House in Lexington, SC is anything but a typical coffee house. Even if you live too far away to enjoy a cup of their artisan coffee, you’ll be fascinated by their story.

You may even be inspired to do something similar in your own town or city. They’re changing lives one cup at a time.

Click photo to read the powerful story of Samkon Gado, who never let the facts interfere with the possibilities.

Click photo to read the powerful story of Samkon Gado, who never let the facts interfere with the possibilities.

Samkon Gado: Doing the “Impossible” 

A young boy from a small village in Nigeria who’d never heard of the NFL nor ever dreamed of medical school doesn’t grow up to become a record-setting NFL player and a med student — unless God decides he will. God decided Samkon Gado would — and he’s fulfilling his dreams and God’s plan.

Click to read about Joe & Gladys Grimaud featured in January 2015 "Reach Out Columbia" magazine. An inspiring story of God, Family & Country

Click to read about Joe & Gladys Grimaud featured in January 2015 “Reach Out Columbia” magazine. An inspiring story of God, Family & Country

More than “just the furniture”
A visit with Joe & Gladys Grimaud

Joe & Gladys Grimaud, Owners of Chapin Furniture Store, may be as well-known for their short radio commercials as they are for their excellent store. In short radio spots, Joe & Gladys share snippets from their long and fascinating life together. 

In this story, you’ll get more than a 60 second glimpse at this unusual couple and what’s guided them along their bizarre path from a peanut farm to the CEO office of Precision Tune and finally a successful furniture store. Hey, they needed something to do in their retirement years!  

Every child has the right to live, and every mom has the right to give birth. That's why Birthright of Columbia does what it does. Read their powerful story here. via

Hello, This is Birthright of Columbia

Ever meet someone and know from the moment they reached out their hand, you were about to be changed?

Hank Chardos of Birthright of Columbia is one of those people.

Hank’s love for others, driven by his passion for Christ, spills out into his smile and eyes and spreads out into everything he says and does. He’s a man on a mission to make a difference.

The mission? Hank and Birthright deliver help to women who are pregnant and worried. 

Reach Out, Columbia magazine invited me to share Hank’s and Birthright of Columbia’s story. What an honor! And here it is. 



Christian Devotions

Christian Devotions is exactly that. You’ll find daily devotions to encourage a growing relationship with Christ.

Sadly, they lost everything on their website at one point.  They’ve been rebuilding it back.

My two devotions were lost from their website and not restored. Therefore, I’m including the one I still have below.

Alas, for some reason I don’t have a copy of the other one.

Please check out Christian Devotions’ website for their many great devotionals written by a host of wonderful writers. 



Your words are what sustain me. They bring me great joy and are my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.
~ Jeremiah 15:16 NLT

I woke sapped of emotional strength to face the day. Armed with a mug of coffee, I sought strength in God’s Word. Turning to where I’d left off the day before in Jeremiah, I found—not hope—but God’s wrath and Israel’s imminent destruction instead. Great.

The Israelites refused to listen to God. Instead they continually turned from following Him and forced His hand. It seemed they were dead set on having their own way.

Oh, wait. I was doing the same thing.

I wasn’t demanding my own way outwardly. I prayed to want only what God wanted and to trust Him in my situation, yet I still felt despair. Like Israel, any outcome in my situation other than the one my heart desired, would leave me disappointed. I, too, was dead set on having my own way.

Then I read this passage and found what I’d been missing: Your words are what sustain me. They bring me great joy and are my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty. 

I found the truth. Jeremiah reminded me that only God’s Word is truth—not what I think about a situation, but what God says. If I reject His truth, I’ll despair. If I embrace it, it becomes for me a joy and the delight of my heart. Right perspective gives strength.

Joseph received God’s words that his family would one day bow before him. Even after being sold into slavery by his brothers and thrown into prison, his situation was never bleak. It was always bright, because the truth was, God had sent Joseph right where he needed to be so He could raise him up to rule Egypt and save his family.

Knowing the truth changes your perspective. God’s Word is the truth and the right perspective.

People will still die and bad things will happen, but God will always bring joy and delight to your heart, even in the midst of it, through the promises, perspective, and truth of His Word.

(Originally published on