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Latest Journal Update
Today ended up with more drama than we anticipated. After coming home from my fitness appointment, I turned on the sprinkler system. After I while I thought that I heard water running but could not find where it was and just thought it must be outside. Wrong! We ended up with water in our basement due to a break in our water meter. Thanks to my brother-in-law Sam and the response of the City of Fort Collins, we got water cleaned up and a temporary fix to make sure that we have water for the weekend. In addition to my work out at the fitness center, I had the exercise of navigating up and down the stairs to the basement.
Other than that is was a good day. We took care of signing some closing documents on the sale of our house in Lakewood and so that is a significant event in our lives. So it looks like we have "burned the bridge" back to Lakewood and are settled and enjoying Fort Collins.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY... “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32
If you take time to look for a dictionary definition of "abide" and see the synonyms, this is what you will find: "obey, observe, follow, keep to, hold to, conform to, adhere to, stick to, stand by, act in accordance with, uphold, heed, accept, go along with, acknowledge, respect, defer to."
All of those apply and give meaning to Jesus' words and invitation to "abide." In addition to the verse above, John chapter 15 contains several references to abiding in Jesus as the vine. We read, "abide in my word" "abide in me" "abide in my love." Review the synonyms above as they relate to each of these. Of course we realize that they are all summarized by "abiding in Jesus." He is the Word of God revealed to the world. He is the expression of God's love for humanity.
What we can observe in these verses is....
Abiding in Jesus is a true test of discipleship. To live life outside of the "vine" becomes a lifeless and unfruitful experience. Our connection with Jesus, our living in His Word, obeying it, and acknowledging it as the only source for our faith is critical to our spiritual well being.
Abiding in Jesus is the key to bearing fruit. Healthy fruit on branches is directly related to the health and connection to the trunk of the tree (i.e. vine). "Whoever abides in me...bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:6) I recall many years ago visiting Phoenix with some friends for a church conference. We were taken by the orange trees beside the highway. When we stopped and picked one were surprised that what was so appealing to the eye could be so bitter to the taste. (apparently orange trees and car exhaust is a lethal combination) In contrast, the fruit we bear through abiding in Jesus is that which blesses and refreshes others.
Abiding in Jesus is the key to answered prayer. "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (John 15:7) Just as the Father answered Jesus' prayers because of their connection, our connection to Jesus is the key to an effective prayer life. We realize prayer is fellowship and communion as well as bring needs. When we abide in Jesus and His Word we are more aware of His will. Abiding in Jesus is the key to confident praying.
Abiding in Jesus is the key to freedom. Following Jesus and His Word, allows us to know the truth and to discern truth from error. In this verse "being set free" involved once again the Jews understanding of the tradition of the elders opposed to the plan and purpose of the Father. When we know the truth we are not bound by the "law" as an avenue to righteousness. We are not bound by tradition; and we realize the truth that, "He whom the Son sets free is free indeed." (John 8:36)
There is no better place, no safer place, no place of greater joy and fulfillment than abiding in Jesus.