- Chris Crosby
Where Do You Live?
The memory verse was very familiar, but one word kept jumping out at me. The verse came from a longer passage covered in many sermons I had heard through the years. But as often happens, something new stood out.
The word abide is utilized twice in the verse from John 15:7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
The two verses before this use the same word. John 15:5-6, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”
The word abide isn’t used much in today’s vernacular. A Greek word study creates a clearer picture of how it was used when Jesus said this. We normally think of abide as where we live. Some of the other meanings captured in the original text include not to depart, to tarry, to be held. These definitions provide greater depth to the meaning of the word beyond how we normally use it today.
So how does this apply to us? Let’s look at the verse with some of these definitions added for emphasis, “If you do not depart from me, but tarry with me, and my words do not depart from you and are held by you…”
Often when people quote this verse, they are wanting the promise in the second half where they can ask whatever they wish. However, this promise is conditional. We must be tarrying with God and consistently taking in His word, not departing from it. Then when we ask for “whatever you wish”, we will be in alignment with His plan.
Another familiar passage is Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” What a beautiful picture of the protection we receive when we abide with God.
Often our hectic lives slowly pull us away from abiding. It starts out with a missed morning devotion, a skipped Bible study, and then we realize it’s been a week, a month, or more, without any thoughtful time in God’s Word or prayer. However, if we remain committed to daily time with our Savior, the blessings that flow from that relationship produce more peace and joy in our lives. It doesn’t mean everything is perfect, but we are anchored to the Rock who never waivers or fails. That stability makes the challenges we face easier to manage.
If you are struggling with the consistency of time in the Word, sign up for a daily devotional email that comes to your inbox each morning or get a Bible app on your phone. The next time you are waiting somewhere, pull it out and read a verse and ponder its meaning and relevancy to your life. No time in the Word is ever wasted, but the benefits are amazing. Start abiding today.