On Christmas Day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Immanuel. “God with us”.
So I focus on John 15 today. Almost the whole chapter is about being “with” Jesus. The key word that many of us know and love in this chapter is “abide”. Jesus came to this earth and walked among us, and he tells the disciples that they must always abide in Him.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NKJV)
This year has certainly had its share of ups and downs as our family has had some significant challenges. I can look back and see how Jesus’s words have truly played out in my life. While sometimes I think “you can do nothing” is very extreme, I do know that life simply goes better when I am abiding in Christ. Sometimes it means circumstances are better right away, sometimes not until later, but it always means that I am more at peace.
I look ahead and I am frightened, but not for long, as long as I take time to read Scripture, meditate, and “abide”. I heard an excerpt from a Billy Graham interview on the radio the other day and Billy said that if he had to do his life over again he would study more, travel less. He said “I’d spend more time in meditation and prayer and just telling the Lord how much I love Him and adore Him and looking forward the time we‘re going to spend together for eternity.” Can you imagine this coming from Billy Graham? At 92 Mr. Graham certainly understands deep in his heart the value of simply abiding. My goal for next year (actually starting today!) is to make sure I spend more time abiding. He is the vine, I am a branch, and my life and being come from Him.
Immanuel. God with us. Always. To the end of the age.
Merry Christmas to all!