Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Remain in Me

Sometimes we hear things so often, and we think we've got it, that we have that thing all figured out. And then, so often, we find out that there is so much more, more than we ever realized. 

I love it that this is the case so often, most often in fact, with God's Words. We can read His Words to us and be impacted by them, and then later, when we read them again ... our eyes and hearts are opened to so much more. So much more from the same words that we have been reading over and over for so long.. 

His Words never grow old for they are alive, spoken by a living God.

And recently I have been captured, again, by the words in John 15. 

"Abide in Me ..." 
(John 15:4a ESV)

Isn't this what we long for ... to "abide" in Him? For He says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

I love how my ESV Study Bible describes this "abiding" ...

"Abide in Me - means to continue in a daily, personal relationship with Jesus, characterized by trust, prayer, obedience, and joy." (added emphasis mine)

Just as a plant cannot survive unless it receives nourishment continually - just as a newborn baby needs milk continually - just as we cannot survive and thrive unless we receive water and nutrition continually  - so, we need His Words continually.

"Remain in Me ..." 
(John 15:4a NLT)

And this "remaining" isn't just about going through the motions of receiving nourishment; it implies that we are allowing the nourishment to enter into us fully. And it implies that we are putting the nourishment to action. We are not only hearing the words, but are acting on them; we are obeying them.

"When you obey My commandments,
you remain in My love,
just as I obey My Father's commandments
and remain in His love."
(John 15:10)

We can sometimes recoil from the word "obey", but it really is key to remaining, abiding. As parents, we know that our young children are truly taking our words to heart when we see them acting on our words, obeying our words. So it is with us. If we truly are taking God's Words to heart, digesting them fully, we will act on them. We will obey them.

Loving Lord, thank You for reminders to abide, to remain ... to obey. When I read Your Words, may I digest them into the core of my heart, and may I turn them into action; may I willingly and completely obey You. Receiving and also living out Your Words. For Your glory, as the resulting fruit in My life will bring much joy, and much glory to You.

"Those who remain in Me, and I in them,
will produce much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing."
(John 15:5b)

Sharing the thoughts above as I have recently been reading through the book of John, along with reading the First5 devotionals each morning. God has been working on my heart in deeper ways as a result of these thoughts I have shared here about "abiding", "remaining", and "obeying" ... particularly in connection with a weakness of mine, which is ... worry. 

Don't we as mothers resort to "worry" so very often? Sometimes we excuse ourselves for this apparent obsession of ours at times with "worry", because after all, we are mothers, and mothers love and care so deeply about our children. But as I abide/remain in Him continually ... He is drawing me to more fully obey Him when He says: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything." (Philippians 4:6a) This only can come from His Spirit enabling me as I abide in Him. His Words, His nourishment and His strength in me. And I am experiencing the resulting joy, which is the fruit that will bless those around me, and will result in bringing more praise to God. 

Continual, daily nourishment ... 
abiding, remaining in Him.

For more posts on this topic:
FIRST LOVE: What We are Made For

Linking up with:
Tell His Story
Faith Filled Friday

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