The idea of living in Jesus as closely and as permanently as a branch abides in the vine seems fairly simple. Such is the beauty of the picture presented in John 15, and it is absolutely meant to be simple in terms of clarity. Anyone can see at least some of the implications.

On the other hand, one’s head knowledge of the clear example does not readily translate to reality in our daily lives. We wrestle to see it happen.

The most obvious way we abide is when we prayerfully spend time in God’s word, the Bible. Many people talk of the need for a daily devotional time, “quiet time,” or personal time in God’s word. Sometimes our ears hear such exhortations as an additional burden placed upon our already busy days. However, knowing Jesus is no burden, but rather the fulfillment of a person’s very essence and the reason for our existence. If we turn our daily priorities around, we might ask, “Is there anything more important than time in God’s word today?”

Imagine that a person schedules 30 minutes per day to get alone in a quiet place to read God’s word and pray (nothing magical about “30” – strive for more but any is better than none.) Over the course of a month, that translates roughly into 15 hours. Over the course of a year, it is roughly 180 hours – that is 180 hours of focused time feeding on the truth of God’s revelation of himself!

While our daily approach may fluctuate with our circumstances, the habits we develop will be one of the ways God changes us over time. However, the differences are large. For example, if I am somewhat relaxed about making this time happen, the results can be drastically altered: over the course of a year, there are hours and hours lost which could have been spent in meditation which are now behind us.

The challenge: plan to make each day important. Instead of waiting around for some “spare” time to come your way, consider how you can fashion your schedule around this one aspect of abiding in Christ, abiding in the word of God. See the big picture, and see how over the course of a month, a year, and several years the amount of time devoted to being in God’s word will be one of the greatest agents of change that God will use in your life.

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