“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15:9
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” John 15:10
“Abide in my love.”
“Abide in my love.”
I could hear that a thousand times, and still feel a sigh of relief run through me. He asks us to abide in His love.
“Abide in my love.”
I love words, always have, and abide is a word that I have loved a long time. It feels like the Lord offering his arms out to us and asking us to just rest in His love. Just cuddle up right there in security, as ourselves: no walls, no barriers, just abide.
“Abide in me, and I in you.” John 15:4
Abide means to continue in a place, to remain. All He is asking us to do is stay with Him, hang out with Him, relax with Him, find comfort in Him. Abide. And He will abide in us.
However, in order to abide, in order to relax in His presence, we have to give of our time. We have to spend the time in His word, the time to know Him and trust Him to be able to relax and know that He is security, He is love.
When I had newborns and toddlers, abiding in Him meant taking a deep breath when everyone was literally crying, and saying “help me Jesus” in the chaos.
Abiding was sitting in the nursing mothers room at church after being up all night, and just letting the worship wash over me, as I could do nothing else.
Abiding meant forcing myself to get out the door to mommy group so that some ladies could speak love and light into my life, even when I couldn’t speak it to myself. In those deep and trying times, I had nothing to offer Him, but He didn’t care. He just wanted me to abide, to sit with Him, to cry out to Him, to trust in His plan and His love.
And those sweet and abiding moments in those crazy, exhausting, difficult times were fueled and made possible by time in His word before all of that. For years, I studied the Bible, spent time with Him, went to church, worshipped, served, but in newborn craziness I could do none of those things. But the Lord was faithful, he just said “Abide in me,” “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And I knew that I could make it, or rather that He could get me through it. And I knew that it was enough, and the days when I had enough energy my abiding could be more intentional and more substantial.
The flip side to abiding is where my blog name was born:
If we are followers of Jesus, our goal is bearing fruit for His kingdom. And here in John 15, after encouraging His followers to abide in Him, He gives them a real zinger: without me, you can do nothing. And boy have I lived it.
Without Him, I can’t write, I can’t raise my kids, I can’t disciple people, I can’t preach, or teach or pastor. Without God and His power and His knowledge, nothing I do will bring glory to His kingdom because abiding in Him means He is in us. There’s no big secret to getting God–gaining His eyes and His opportunities. It’s written out plainly: Abide in me.
So when it came to naming my blog, I knew I wanted something that showed people that this whole thing wasn’t about me: every word I wrote was for Him and by Him. And even more than that, this whole thing was given to me by Him, and fueled by Him. I love a good repetitive vowel sound so: Abide & Write.
I also kept thinking I want to “Abide and…” my entire life.
My whole life should be a practice of abiding, AND then going out and bearing the fruit He promised. So first abide, and then do what God made you to do.
What is your “Abide and?” What is the thing that God created you to do to bear fruit? Abide and teach? Abide and raise children? Abide and do taxes? Abide and run fast? Abide and serve customers?
What is that thing? And are you abiding in Jesus to make sure it’s all coming from Him? If we are abiding, literally anything we do will be of Him. Anything we put our hand to can bear fruit, as long as the strength and purpose to do it come from abiding.
So this week let’s be sure to abide AND bear fruit. It can only start with abiding.
Share your “Abide &…” in the comments; I’d love to hear what y’all are doing for Him!