Have you ever said a word or phrase a whole bunch of times and suddenly it starts sounding funny and you start wondering if you are saying it incorrectly? I kind of feel like that a little bit when reading this passage. The word abide is used over and over again. Since it is said so many times it might be a good idea to focus in on it. I love some of the synonyms for the word abide. Words like, obey, follow, uphold, and accept. I love reading through some of these verses and putting a synonym in.
Verse 6, if anyone does not accept me he is thrown away like a branch and withers…
Verse 7, If you follow me and my word upholds you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
When I meditate on what this passage is saying time and time again I am extremely humbled. This is a result of realizing that it is the Holy God and creator of the Universe that I am being instructed, and yes, commanded to abide in, or accept, or follow, or obey.
I ask myself, “why wouldn’t I abide in God?” It only makes sense when I think about who He truly is. But the problem lies in a flawed view of the Father. This passage is clearly laying out that a lack of abiding in God leads to a withered, dried up life. A life that is disobedient to God is one that is thrown into the fire and burned. John uses some very graphic descriptions to address not abiding in God.
He does this because God is everything that is good, and He is everything that there is. God sustains and creates and knows everything. He is aware and in control; He is gracious, merciful, and kind. That same God is inviting us to know Him intimately, and to follow Him and know His heart. In doing this we become vibrant and we become fruitful.
The sooner we realize that nothing in existence is even fathomable without God, the sooner we will truly abide in Him. This is the same God that sent His son to die for you and me. Let that sink in. I am sure you have heard it plenty, but it is important to remember and recognize who it is that we are to abide in and what He has done.
Take time today to reflect on ways that you are abiding in God today.
Take time today to thank God for what He has done in your life.
Abide in Him.
By: Dakota Gragg