Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Abiding in Christ

The last couple weeks, I have been reading Colossians over and over again (along with some other passages).  This morning, I don't know if my alarm just didn't go off or if I slept through it or what happened, but I ended up getting a late start on my way to work.  My devotions ended up being reading John 15 in the car at stoplights and a short prayer time.  Certainly not the ideal morning, but I am thankful that He speaks and hears even on rushed mornings. 

I was reading this evening again in Colossians and chapter 3, verses 12-17 really stood out to me in light of John 15:1-8.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

In Colossians 3, that command to let the word of Christ richly dwell within us ties in so closely with John 15. We cannot bear fruit without being connected to Christ. Continuing in Colossians 3, we are not just to have His Word dwell within us, but it is to come back out of us as we speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with hearts of thankfulness to the Lord! When we are abiding in Him, the source of every good and perfect thing, His Word is our life and breath. We cannot help but respond in gratitude to the Lord and let that overflow to those around us.

May God give us hearts that long to be close to Him, to know and to do His will, to submit with joy to His perfect plans, and be thankful in all things to the Giver of every good and perfect thing.