Abiding Isn't Easy

Jon Burgess


5“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much Hos. 14:8; (Gal. 5:22, 23)fruit; for without Me you can do 2 Cor. 3:5nothing. John 15:5


Jesus has just shared The Lord's Supper with His disciples. They have just drunk the wine, the fruit of the vine. Jesus will shed his blood so that all who believe can stay fruitful and connected to The Vine. Jesus will do what we cannot so that we can do what we could not do without Him- abide. Yes, this is not a suggestion or an idea or quaint notion that we can get around to if we have time. When Jesus tells us to abide in Him its a command to reside in Him, to make our home in Him. This is not just with initial salvation either. No, the wording here is a command to all believers to pursue a continual, consistent connection with Christ throughout our days. The message is clear. Fruit isn't free and doesn't come without continually connecting to the vine. What is certain is that trying to live the Christian life disconnected or apart from the vine is impossible-"For without Me you can do nothing." So, why do we try to do so much apart from Christ? Because abiding takes work!


This morning is our first Sabbath Monday together as husband and wife. The boys are back in school and we have until 2:30 today to just enjoy each other and our free time. We could have gone anywhere today. We could have done anything today. What did we choose to do? Stay home. Why? Becauseover the past few weeks we have a put a lot of work into turning this house into a home after our move. This morning we chose to soak it all in. We stopped the projects. We poured the coffee. We got out our Bible's and journals and sat out on the lanai and wesoaked in the stillness. This is abiding. This is a focused intentional choice to enjoy our home. Jesus is calling us to the same with Him. Not just on Sabbath days when staying home is an option, but every single day. Even in the most stressful of work days, we can abide in Him, remain in Him, stay in Him, make our Home in Him. How? Through His Word and our words: "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (John 15:7) As I hide in His Word I'm making my home in Him. His Words of life become a shelter to me. They turn an empty structure into a place to call home. I won't want to go anywhere else to find my place because I feel safe right here in relationship with Him. I can bring myworries and fears and stresses to Him and His Word and presence turn a harsh situation into habitable one. The boxes won't unpack themselves. The pictures won't hang themselves. The beds and furniture won't put themselves in place by themselves. It takes work to abide, to make a house a home. It takes work to keep my relationship with Jesus from becoming a religion. To work at rest seems like an oxymoron, but it's exactly what Jesus commands us to do here.


Thank You, Jesus, for this Sabbath Monday. Thank You that Sabbath is my path back to abiding in You. This is my lifeline to You. That I don't ever just see You as a place to visit if I have time, but as my permanent address all the time. So many things seek to drag me out of this abiding but it's a choice I must make on a continual basis if I want the fruit of our relationship to remain. Abiding is residing. Abiding in You isintentional, not accidental.

Devotions for August 13

Jeremiah 13,14,15
John 15

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