Jesus commands us in John 15:4 to, “Abide in me…” From our last teaching, we discussed that to abide means we stay put or remain with Jesus. Today, I want us to talk about how we can practice the act of abiding. There are two practical ways we can abide, or remain, in Jesus: obedience and Scripture meditation.
Abiding through Obedience
Acting in obedience to the Lord is one of the best ways to remain humble and surrendered to Jesus’ authority in your life. It’s an active representation of being in Christ.
Jesus shares this idea with us in John 15:10:
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
Why is obedience a good way to remain in Jesus? Because it’s a constant act of submission and acknowledgment that you trust Jesus. Notice that Jesus doesn’t exclude Himself from obedience. In the Scripture above, He includes Himself in the act of abiding as well. He states that He obeys His Father’s commands and remains in God’s love this way.
Jesus demonstrated the ultimate obedience and abiding in God’s love when He went to the cross.
I absolutely love this! Jesus demonstrated the ultimate obedience and abiding in God’s love when He went to the cross. Hours before Jesus was nailed to the cross, we see an intimate moment between Him and God. Jesus is praying and asking God if there’s another way to save His children. He even asks that this responsibility be taken from him in Matthew 26:39, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
But then, in the greatest act of obedience and abiding with His Father, he humbles himself and obeys. He says, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” And He remains under God’s authority, abiding in Him.
What an incredible example for us! God had a clear plan of salvation laid out for us. It would mean the breaking of Jesus, yet Jesus chose it. Friend, this is how we abide – we act in radical, consistent obedience to what God calls us to do!
Abiding through Scripture Meditation
Another way we can remain in Christ is to practice Scripture meditation. Here’s a quick definition of Scripture meditation from The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary:
The act of calling to mind [Scripture], pondering upon it and correlating it to one’s own life.”
The key to that definition lies in the word “ponder.” To ponder means to dwell on, to think through something and flesh it out. Pondering is the key component of Scripture meditation. Scripture meditation is the continuous turning of our minds to Scripture and thinking on it. This will help ensure that our hearts are aligned with God’s heart.
Scripture meditation will ensure our hearts are aligned with God’s heart.
This is an active way we can remain in God through our day-to-day interactions and thought processes. Scripture meditation helps remind us how to live for God and love Him better.
Abiding in Christ is active. It seems counterintuitive to say that staying put or remaining somewhere needs to be something we actively practice, but it’s true. Because our hearts are sinful, they wander. We are tempted to follow after other enticements that hold false promises. This is why practicing constant obedience and Scripture meditation are so crucial if we want to remain in Christ.
I’d encourage you to pray today and ask God how He wants you to be obedient to Him. Select a Scripture that you want to meditate on. Write it down and place it where you can see it constantly throughout your day. These habits will serve to deepen your walk with Christ and lead you to more actively practice the act of abiding.