I mentioned a couple a weeks ago that as I continue on this journey of #chasing25 that I would also be sharing snippets into my spiritual discoveries as well as chronicling my physical pursuits. I actually wasn’t planning on sharing one this early but yesterday I heard a sermon that I haven’t been able to let go of and really hope I don’t. Our Pastor has been out on sabbatical for the last 3 months and yesterday marked his return to the pulpit. His message was a synopsis of some of things the Lord had showed him over the previous 3 months. The main focus, scripture wise, was John 15 in which Christ reveals how we should approach life.
The common phrase that is used throughout the first part of the text is this phrase, Abide in me. Within this phrase is also a directive for us to follow if we are to truly be disciples of Christ. In verse 3, Christ reminds us that if we have accepted Him as our Savior than we have already been made clean by Him. Then the next verse is 4 – Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. As the Pastor spoke of one of the lessons he learned on his sabbatical, one being; he wrongly thought that God needs him to help manage the world. I found myself at first thinking well, that’s not me.
I truly know and operate knowing that God is in complete control and things that take place in my life are completely orchestrated by Him. As I thought through this however, I realized that I don’t, in fact, always operate that way. How often in the course of a single day do things arise in which I make a decision, never considering if the decision I’m making is what God actually wants me to do. In these moments I’m basically saying “I got this! No need to bother God, I’ll handle this one.” This may seem like a trivial thing to some but for me, it was very eye opening to think and see how many times I just take things upon myself to manage my world.
Abide means to remain or stay. So when we read that Jesus calls us to Abide in Him, that is our invitation to remain or to stay with Him. I’m pretty consistent in reading my bible and praying throughout the day but abiding in Christ. No, too often, I find other things in life that easily take my focus away from Him. And if I’m not careful, it can easily be hours and sometimes days before I realize I really haven’t given much thought to my relationship with Jesus. In verse 5, Jesus is clear as He outlines that He is the vine and that we are the branches and in order for us to bear fruit, we must abide in Him. Furthermore, He makes it clear that without Him, we can do nothing!
I want to be a person that bears much fruit and not simply a branch that withers and dies as we see in verse 6. To abide in Christ is a mandate for all Christians if we truly aspire to be known as disciples of Christ and additionally we are given the promise that if we remain in Christ (abide), than we ask for what we desire and it shall be done for us. So as I have wrestled with this over the last 24 hours, I have recognized there are some changes that I will need to make in order to make abiding in Christ a consistent reality.
Abiding in Christ will allow us to bear much fruit, by which God is glorified and we will be known as His disciples. John 15:8 For me, I know this will not be an easy transition but I do purpose to pursue doing this in the days ahead. I recognize that I will need to make the same commitment and sacrifices I’ve made to getting in shape physically, in order to achieve my goals of deepening my relationship with Jesus.
Peace and thanks for reading,