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.
Growing in wisdom takes a lot of work. A lot of discipline, effort, sweat and tears. The straight paths that result from trusting in the Lord are rarely easy ones, even if they are the right ones. It can be exhausting, but it is what wisdom requires.
And yet, before any work is done, wisdom requires rest. It requires the discipline to be quiet, the effort to be still. Jesus told his disciples to abide in him, as he abides in them. The fruit and effort and work comes after this, after we abide in the vine from which we have emerged. Without that life blood of the vine pumping through us, we will never gain true wisdom. We will always be working toward something beyond our reach.
We are invited to abide in Jesus, the embodiment of wisdom. As we learn about ways to act wisely this year, studying Proverbs and James and internalizing their message, may we remember that we can only bear the fruit of wisdom if we abide in Jesus. He is already abiding in us, but will we abide in Him? Or will we restlessly move from one distraction to the next, ignoring the wealth within our grasp?
Some questions for discussion:
What activities keep your mind and body busy when you could be resting or abiding in Christ?
What does it mean to you that Christ is abiding in you? What sort of response does this evoke in your heart?
What steps could you take to make space for abiding in Christ this year?