Remain In Him

by Mark Schumacher

During a recent quiet devotional time (like you are doing now), I read in John 15 where Jesus talks about the fact that He is the vine and we are the branches. In verse 4 He says, “‘Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.’”

As Christians, I suspect we all want to accomplish things for Jesus – have our lives mean something and have purpose. The word remain stuck with me after this most recent reading of that verse. What does that really mean? How can I remain in Jesus?

I can recall times I have desired to remain in a particular setting or moment – the birth of one of our children, taking in a spectacular sunset, or standing at the edge (not too far out) of the Grand Canyon. All of these moments, and others we can all remember, are times where we cannot remain. My Bible dictionary/concordance defines remain: to abide or continue unchanged; to be something yet to be shown. One thought from this is that when I remain in Christ, I do not get pulled into worldly things – not moving away from the mindset and activities God has deemed for me to ponder and to do. But that can be accomplished only through the power of the Spirit that God has placed in me and by becoming sensitive to His leading. Giving me the ability to love others as He commands. Keeping me unchanged, still redeemed and obedient to God’s call.

I also like the part of the definition that says something yet to be shown. Could that be opportunities that God has for me to experience? Can that mean He will reveal to me the person I can truly be in Christ? How can I be successful at doing that? He has provided His Word, His constant presence, His Spirit living in me, the fellowship of our church body, and a mind and heart that can decide where my mind remains.

Dear God, help me in my quest to want more of you. As the world continues to reach for my time, my heart and my mind, help me to find ways to remain in you. You desire that, I know, and you have a plan for me. A plan that can include sharing your love when I do avail myself to your will and leading. Thank for your love for me and the gift of your availability. So when I do decide at any moment, you are there for me to remain in your presence and love.

Have a blessed Easter season!

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