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Tuesday, 03 August 2021 00:00
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John  15:5-8

    The question, where do you live, asks for a response and we recite our address to our home. Where do you live (abide)? Where we abide or live can be very different from our address. Many live in pain. We may live at work or be considered the life of the party. We may live to be outdoors or live for the weekend or the day we retire. In John 15, Jesus addresses how we live or abide. The word abide is a favorite of John’s, as we read his gospel and epistles, and it means to live, dwell, lodge-sometimes with the connotation of remaining or continuing. 

     Read John 15:1-11, in the ESV translation, how many times do you see the word abide? This key word is used eleven times. When you abide in Christ you produce fruit, (John 15:2) and have prayers answered (John 15:7). The abiding relationship is natural to the branch and the vine, but it must be cultivated in the Christian life. So the question remains; Where do you live (abide)?

    The context of Jesus words in John 15 is crucial. On the night before his death (John 13), Jesus has the rapt attention of his closest eleven followers. What would you want to tell your family and friends if you knew your death was imminent? How would you direct them to live? We are often focused on the issues that dominate our lives, like career paths and family and health. We are not so different from the disciples; they wanted political relief and religious freedom and hope. The disciples hung on Jesus every word as they waited for Jesus to tell them what was next.  Would it be a call to battle? Would they receive prestige and become Jesus right hand kingdom men? Would Jesus lay out a strategy for a political or religious revolt-a revocation of the status quo? In the decisive, pivotal moment, Jesus commanded “Abide in my love” (John 15:9)  The love of God in Jesus is the soil from which everything germinates, grow, and flourishes. “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 ESV) What would your life reveal about the vine that you are abiding in? 

    The branch cannot produce its own life; it must draw from the vine. It is our own communion (abiding) with Christ through the Spirit that makes fruit bearing possible. Seat yourself at the Passover table with the eleven men in the upper room. Lean in and absorb some of Jesus’s last words spoken to you at the end of his journey to the cross. Jesus calls his disciples and us-to “abide in His love”. Jesus knew the hearts of each disciple, their proclivity to doubting, their impetuous nature, their failures and future; and he knew without a doubt that this intimate, abiding, relationship with our Abba was intended to be the lifeblood of our journey with Him. As the lamp casts shadows on the walls and sputters, as you rest at the table sprinkled with the bread crumbs of communion and Jesus voice fills the room: Where will you abide?

    Jesus, the eternal Logos of God, knew His love was everything and our enough. What are you hanging on too, focusing on, or abiding in that is keeping you from taking an all-embracing step toward the abiding love of God in Jesus Christ? The Jesus, of John 15 and the upper room, is very near. He longs for communion and intimacy with us, his branches. “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love, abides in God, and God abides in Him. (1 John 4:16 ESV)

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Read 38 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 August 2021 15:36