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Lent 2018 Devotional—March 14th

Lent 2018 Devotional—March 14th

PRAY

Loving Father, may I have the power to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18-19).

READ

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes
every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit
he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed
by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just
as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart
from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown
away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask
for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified
by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the
Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”

John 15:1-9

Living in Arizona I frequently see the Spanish phrase, “Mi casa es su casa!” Or, “My house is your house!” I always appreciate that warm welcome inviting me to make myself right at home. I think of those gracious words in today’s scripture as Jesus invites us to make our home in Him: “Abide in me as I abide in you.” The Message translation renders Jesus’ welcoming words: “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you.”

The Greek word meno translated “abide”, in “Abide in me”, means a dwelling place, the place where you make your home. It is a word suggesting all the warmth and good feeling associated with home. This Greek verb meno is related to the Greek noun mone, the “dwelling places” Jesus says that He goes to prepare: “In my Father’s house are many dwelling-places (mone). If it were not so would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2).

Importantly, Jesus expands what it means for us to abide in Him saying, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.” For us to abide in Jesus’s love is to plunge into and let ourselves be immersed in His fathomless love.

Take a moment to imagine a lake, a deep lake. And rather than the lake being filled with water, it is filled with Jesus’ love. Dive in! Let yourself be overwhelmed by Jesus’ love. Relax in His love for you. Know that you are precious to Him. He says that He loves you with the same love the Father loves Him: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”

Blasphemer and persecutor, Saul of Tarsus, aka the apostle Paul, let Himself be loved by Jesus. He then prays that all Christians be “rooted and grounded in love” and “to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:17, 19). That is a good prayer for us to take up for ourselves and for others, to know the love of Christ for us that surpasses all our knowing. Many people have rooted and grounded their lives in guilt and fear. Jesus longs for us to root and ground our lives in His incomprehensible love. That’s where He wants us to make our home, the place where He wants us to abide. As the branch of a grape vine draws all its life and nourishment from the vine, so draw your life from Jesus and from His love for you. “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.” God says, “My home is your home!”

REFLECT

  • How do I imagine the Father’s love for His Son Jesus? How do I now
    imagine Jesus’ love for me?
  • What would be the practical implications for me today to live in Jesus’
    love?

O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, and follow Thee more nearly, day by day.
Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

 

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