Abiding in 2017
It’s hard to believe that we are a few days into the New Year. Many have made new year resolutions and some have even broken them already. It is always good to have a new beginning from time to time. I love the opportunity to set new goals and look to a brighter future. Can I remind you to take the time to think about how you are going to grow in your relationship with the Lord? Take the time today to read John 15:1-17. Our first priority in growing closer to God is to abide or remain in Christ. It doesn’t say to perform or to earn your relationship. It simply says, “abide.” The Message Paraphrase uses phrases like, “Live in Me, Joined with Me, Make yourself at home with Me, and Remain intimately at home in My love.” It’s a call to do nothing but rest in Christ. Yes, you read that right. You are to do nothing but abide. This is a crucial step to abiding. Marvel at what God has done for you and not what you think you have done to attain it. Don’t let 2017 become a year of aimless living. Abide in Christ and let God move on your life in a powerful way. The overflow of what God will do from getting out of the way is out of this world…
Here is John 15:1-17 from the Message:
The Vine and the Branches
15 1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
9-10 “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
11-15 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
16 “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.
17 “But remember the root command: Love one another.
What are some ways you can begin to simply abide in Christ today?
I am looking forward to a great year of growing in Christ with you.
Joy in Jesus!