For when I know the love God has for me, then my mental confusion disperses like fog on a summer’s morning. —Malcolm Smith
Life can be plenty confusing and overwhelming. Sometimes, a lot of religious talk only seems to make things more confusing. H. L. Mencken said, “A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there. A theologian is the man who finds it.” Gee, that helps clarify!
Thankfully, when Christ used the analogy of the vine and the branches, He gave us a simple word picture we can conceptualize. What’s it all about? He invites us to remain in Him, just as a branch remains in the vine, with this being the only way for it to produce true fruit. Then He gives us another sentence to think about:
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (John 15:9)
What does it mean to “remain in Christ” or “abide in Christ?” The meaning is obviously closely linked to “love.”
- It means to continue to dwell and to celebrate and to live in His love, experiencing it fully day by day, moment by moment.
- It means to rejoice in the reality of God and in His unconditional acceptance.
- It means to engage in what delights the Lover by letting His passion become ours.
- It doesn’t just mean to believe in Jesus; it means to live in union with Him.
In the end, it means we have the opportunity to trust in Him even when everything else seems to be falling apart around us in a heap of confusion. Tough times at work? Family difficulties? Financial struggles? When we abide in Christ and remain in His love, knowing that God is real and that His love is real—and that we can actually dwell in that love—our problems don’t magically disappear, but the confusion in our heart can.
Dear Jesus, I want to remain in Your love in a way that puts everything else in perspective. I take the challenges that I am facing this week, and I ask You to help me see them through Your lenses. Amen!