December 8, 2021
Scripture: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4 ESV
Observation: The Greek verb for abiding (menein) appears forty times in the Gospel of John and twenty-six times in his epistles. Its contextual meaning builds on an Old Testament understanding of God’s eternal and unchanging nature: Yahweh, who is One. As used by Jesus, abiding pertains to an intimate indwelling with the Father through the Son. So when Christ commanded his disciples to abide in him, he was imploring them to draw near to him and experience the joy of an eternal loving relationship with their Master.
Takeaway: But what does abiding mean for you and me? While learning as much about the Person of our affections is important, solely gaining head knowledge will leave us spiritually dry and wanting for more. And seeking the approval of our Beloved will leave us exhausted and discouraged. Abiding requires us to trust the One in whom we “indwell,” believing in faith that he loves us for who we are—not for what we say or do. From this foundation, we learn to trust in his Spirit’s provision, protection, and guidance that will sustain us through all the unknowns that lie ahead and permit us to be fruitful. Indeed, abiding undergirds our means for accomplishing the good works the Father has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for your Son, who is our bridge for drawing near to you. Would you please help us to abide throughout our day in the love of your Son, that we might bear much fruit for your glory and to grow your kingdom? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling