Abiding in Jesus
Everyone has a different testimony. However, I think all of us who have put our trust in Jesus can agree something magnificent happens when we fully accept God’s grace. Coming to Jesus is not just accepting him for a moment, but it’s a commitment to walk with him throughout our entire lives.
Jesus invites us to walk with him daily, which is a wonderful and amazing thing! But, if you’re like me, your prayers consist of, “How do you want me to do this, God?” I’m sure many of you have had this question as well. How do we walk with God daily?
This week, the word “abide” has been on my mind. What does it mean to abide in Christ? (Also, what does abide mean, anyway?)
According to dictionary.com, abide means “to stay; to continue; to remain”. This is a beautiful concept when we apply it to our relationship with Jesus! A great place to start looking at the nature of our relationship with Jesus is his word. John 15 describes what our relationship with Jesus looks like.
Within the first couple verses of this chapter, Jesus described himself as the vine, the Father as the vine-dresser, and us as the branches. Apart from the vine, there can be no branches, no fruit. Apart from Jesus, there is no purposeful life for us.
“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)
Jesus is the only way into the life God intends for us. Not just life here on earth, but also life into eternity.
Jesus invites us to take part in life with him. Our faith is not just about us trying to “be good people”. It’s about having a deep, meaningful relationship with Jesus! He states that when we abide in him--when we continue in this journey with him--he stays by our side. Jesus doesn’t just call us to live a life with him and then leave us. He is with us every step of the way.
Even though he is not here with us physically, the Spirit is guiding each and every one of us. The Spirit guides us to live a life for God; to glorify him and bring others to him. We have to remember that we are not doing this all on our own. It’s easy to get caught up in our to-do lists and our own agendas, but ultimately, Jesus is the one who brings us life. We cannot find anything like it outside of Christ.
Outside of the true vine, there is no source of life, truth, or freedom. Abiding in Jesus is essential to our lives as his disciples.
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31)
So how do we do this? How do we actively abide in Jesus daily? I am definitely not an expert on this topic, but here are three things that have been helping me grasp the mindset of abiding in Christ.
#1. Abiding in Christ is less about us and more about what Jesus has done for us.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” (John 15:16)
I did not do anything to deserve Christ’s invitation to live with him. And there’s nothing I could do to ever earn that. Jesus wants us to walk with him because of the love he lavishes on us. His grace is one of the best things that I could ever encounter in this life.
Jesus sees us in all of our mistakes, our anger, our selfishness, our sadness, our anxiety, our shame--he knows about all of the ugly things. But he chooses us anyway. This opportunity to walk with Christ in this life is beyond comprehension. His love is all we need.
#2. Abiding in Christ leads to joy.
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)
Walking in the grace of God is meant to bring joy to our hearts! Joy is not us being constantly happy all the time; it is us trusting God with all aspects of our lives and being content with him.
True joy is found in Christ! No matter what we do, nothing can separate us from God’s love. God’s love is chasing after you, ready to remain in your heart. The very Creator who put you on this earth is inviting you to walk in his love forever! Nothing could ever take that away.
#3. Jesus never said abiding in him would be easy.
This is important. Jesus’ love and purpose for you does not change depending on what kind of week you’re having. God’s call for us is much higher and much bigger than any excuse we have. Abiding in Christ is a lifestyle, not just a Sunday thing. It’s okay to have hard days--that’s when God does a lot of work on our hearts.
Christ is by our sides when our hearts are broken, when we’re stressed beyond belief, and when we’re scared out of our minds. Walking with Christ means exactly that--we are with him, he is with us. When he invites us to abide in him, he is asking us to fully trust him.
In the hard times, we feel the magnitude of his love and grace.
I encourage you to take a moment and read John 15. Have a moment between the Lord and you. One of the amazing things about relationships is that each one is unique. Your relationship with the Lord is extremely special and valuable to him. He is inviting you into a relationship with him. He is offering you joy. He is offering you love. He is offering you life.
“Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.” (Psalm 25:12-13)