Abide in Me

January 11, 2021

In Paul’s powerful prayer of intercession for the believers in Ephesus he pleads, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts. . .” (Eph. 3:17, NASB). There are two Greek words for dwell. One means to set up a temporary abode, like a stranger who gets the guest room. The other word means to have a permanent home, and that’s the word Paul uses here. He’s praying that Jesus won’t be an occasional stranger—but a permanent resident in the hearts of those who call themselves by His name.[1]  

   When we offer Jesus more than morning and evening worship, when we give Him our entire hearts, something powerful happens. Paul goes on, “so . . . that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend . . . the breadth and length and height and depths, and to know the love of Christ,” (Eph. 3:17–19). When Christ abides within us, and we abide in Him, we start to understand His love for us. As we experience this love—it changes us!

    As Jesus led His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane one last time He longed for them to grasp this truth. “Abide in Me. . . .Abide in My love,” He repeats seven times in only six verses (see John 15). These were some of the last words Jesus spoke to them. Only He knew how the night would unfold. How the unexpected violence of a mob, driven by a kind of madness, would leave them shaken to the core. How fear would cause them to run and hide, make them question everything they thought they knew about Him and His mission.

   Jesus knew what they could not grasp in those terrible moments: when the world falls apart, the only thing that lasts, the only thing that holds us together is His love. When all around us shatters, leaving us fearful, uncertain, afraid, the same holds true. Only His love can keep us from unravelling. But we must abide in His love. We must allow Him to abide, to dwell permanently, within us. It’s the only way any of us will make it.

   May Jesus make His home within us—until He returns to take us Home with Him. Forever.      

This is my prayer for us all.  

Pastor Karen


[1] Thanks to Alan Parker for this insight.

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