Continue without fading. That's one definition of the word "abide". In these July posts, we have been looking at Jesus' words in John 15 where He describes Himself as the vine and us as the branches. Our source of life and all things come from Him. Our response? Abide. There are other places in the Bible where this exhortation is given, but perhaps with different words. Paul tells the Colossians to continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not to be moved away from the gospel of Jesus Christ that they have heard. Over in Philippi, they needed a similar message as Paul told them: "Press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." And the author of Hebrews frequently calls out to be diligent, to hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering and to run with endurance the race that is set before us.
And yet... in the nitty-gritty of life, I am prone to fade, wilt, give up.
How do we continue without fading? How do we abide in Jesus Christ until the end?
We can do nothing apart from Christ so this must be the underlying current in our lives every single day. It is so easy to become fearful because we don't know the answers or the end of the story. We might be in turmoil of all kinds because we can't figure out the solution to our problem. But, as we rest in Him, as we continue without fading, we remember some important truths:
God's thoughts are not our thoughts
His ways are not our ways
His very Word is absolute
He is the Rock unchanging.
When the temptation comes to waver and despair, we must remain resolute in Him. Step forward in faith, trusting in the King eternal, immortal, invisible, Who alone is wise.
Jesus calls to us: "Abide in Me"
so we produce much fruit
so we can do something
so our prayers may be answered
so we know what love actually is
so we will obey and keep in His love
so our Father is glorified
so Jesus' joy remains in us and we will be joy-full.
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. John 15: 4