“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. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” —John 15:4–5
In Jesus’ last discourse with His disciples He said, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them” (John 14:21). In Luke 8:21 He said, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” God expects us to be not only hearers but also doers of His Word (James 1:22). As we learn to practice this in our lives, Scripture shapes us in a pattern of hearing, listening, and obeying. Reading scriptures is a wonderful way to learn and practice the prayerful dialogue of love with God. This manner of dialogue enables us to invite God to guide us in our daily walk with Him.
However, the key for a loving relationship is more than just solving problems and seeking guidance; it is also about rejoicing in the presence of the loved one. The foundation of our faith is our loving relationship with God, which is formed through intimacy with Christ. We often want Jesus to handle our situations and help us choose the right path. Yet, we must also know that Jesus has unique plans for each person. If we learn to listen to Jesus in prayer, He will hear us and do what we ask of Him (John 14:12-14). Jesus desires that we remain in Him and He in us, always growing deeper in a loving relationship.
We should not forget that our dialogue with God is supported by our learning to rest in Him and in His peace that surpasses all understanding.
This is possible through the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not leave us as orphans but sent the Holy Spirit to teach us everything. God’s love is poured in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (John 14:25-26, Rom. 5:5).
Let us celebrate the coming of Jesus in our world! Take time to pray and thank Jesus for coming into our lives. You can also initiate a simple dialogue: “Jesus, where are You in my life, and where do You want to be? What journey are You preparing for me in this coming year?”
Take time to remain in Jesus. In the morning, simply ask the Holy Spirit to fill/refill you completely and guide you through the day. Don’t rush this time with God. Rather, take several minutes to welcome His loving Spirit. Rejoice in His love and rest in His peace.
If you struggle to find peace, ask in prayer if there is something that is hindering you from receiving God’s peace and what you should do about it—perhaps forgive someone (including yourself), repent of some sin, or obey God’s instruction to do something you might have resisted before.
Stéphane Tibi is a missionary serving as Regional Education Coordinator in Eurasia.
Written for Coffee Break.