We are living in times like most of us have never seen. People are very afraid in the uncertainty of these times. Many people are concerned about so many different things in their lives right now and …
We are living in times like most of us have never seen. People are very afraid in the uncertainty of these times. Many people are concerned about so many different things in their lives right now and without a relationship with Jesus, we have no compass and no real peace. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” NKJV. Jesus is telling us, “If you want peace, come to me.”
Mario A. Murillo, a U.S.-born journalist, author, and teacher from New York City, said recently in one of his messages that these are trying times for believers. He was talking about people’s “Prayer Life” versus a “Life of Prayer.” There is a big difference — a prayer life says that you set aside a time in your life to pray; a life of prayer says that your whole life is God’s and you live at all times in communion with him, or at least that’s our heart’s desire. A life of prayer means that we always keep Jesus at the forefront of our lives. The great evangelist, Smith Wigglesworth who died in the 1940s said, “I never pray more than 15 minutes, but I never go more than 15 minutes without praying.” He lived a life connected to Jesus.
Jesus said in John 15:5-9, “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. If anyone does not abide in me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this my father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples.”
This word abide in the Greek is the word “Men’o.” It means to stay in a given place, state, relation or expectancy”; it means to continue, to dwell, to be present, to remain. It paints a picture of us making a conscious effort to stay in our relationship with the Lord and to do whatever it takes to keep our relationship with him active and thriving!
It is sometimes easy to understand what Jesus is saying, but sometimes hard to apply it to our lives. Jesus is telling us in this passage that we need to live in him, we need to abide! When it comes to everyday life, it’s not always that easy to do! The idea of abiding was so important to the Lord that we understood, he used the word abide four times in this passage. It is important for us to remember that he is the vine and we are the branches, we are not the vine. All life and sustenance comes from him, he is where we receive life.
It is important that we do the things that promote our relationship with Jesus — that we stay strong in our disciplines as believers; that we stay in his word and we stay strong in our prayer life. If these areas are waning, strengthen those areas. Sometimes we need to make a conscious effort to rid ourselves of the things in our lives that steal our joy and our life. If we pray about what these things are, the Lord will surely show us.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus yet, start one now. Jesus wants us to know him, he wants us to come to him and lay down our sin, and ask him to forgive us, to cleanse us. He will receive you as his own child. You can begin this relationship with Jesus today.
My prayer for all of us is that we can live in God’s perfect peace and we can be light to those around us who are needing life and peace!
(Mike Walsh is the pastor of Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Powell.)