“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15:9
Many of us are simply incapable of resting. No, not the sleeping or sitting on the couch type of resting, I mean spiritual resting. Resting in the completed work of Christ. And not just for your salvation (justification) but also you holy life. As the author of Hebrews says, “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14 ESV) This is awesome… He, Jesus, has perfected me for eternity, it is done, even in the midst of my being changed to be more like him. Notice I am not the one doing the work here. Don’t hear me wrongly; we are called to be obedient but we are not the ones making the change, doing the work of transformation. We can rest in that it is done by another, and he has a great track record.
If we learn to rest in this way then, what does it mean for us to “abide?”
“Yes, I know I need to abide in him, but what exactly does that entail? Should I pray more, relax more, obey more? What does this metaphor tell me about how to bear fruit? What can we learn from the vineyard?”
“…I overlook the truth that it’s his power that births and sustains the entire plant. He’s supplying all that’s necessary for my growth and fruitfulness. It’s his life, his purpose, his determination to be in union with me that’s the central point of this teaching. This teaching isn’t about what I must do. Yes, there is a command here, but it’s basically a command simply to receive. What does that little stem need to do? If it stays attached to the vine, it will naturally grow into a fruit-producing branch. If it is broken off, it will die. It needs to abide.”
“For a moment take your focus off yourself and what you think you might need to do and rejoice in the promise inherent in this passage. Your fruitfulness is assured. Because your union isn’t with a sickly, barren vine but rather with a robust and fertile one, you will produce fruit, the fruit he’s ordained for you (Eph. 2:10).”
Lenten devotion from Comforts for the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Day 20.