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Monday, November 29, 2010

21 Days of Love: John 15

On some days, maybe even most, I experience this gravitational pull away from communion with Christ. Whether it is because I'm busy pursuing good things like service to people or because I'm wrapped up in less than holy pursuits like pleasure, accumulation, comfort, convenience or accolades, I have learned that staying connected to Christ, the Vine, takes lots of intentional energy. Jesus says in John 15:4, "remain in me and I will remain in me." Jesus, perhaps because he refuses to be an overbearing deity, waits for us to abide/remain in him before he abides/remains in us. The power we need to overcome the gravitational pull toward the lesser pursuits of life is found in Christ alone. The only problem is that the power of Christ flows most fully when remaining in him becomes our primary pursuit. You can see our circular struggle. We experience power to pursue him only when we pursue him?!!??!?!? What, then, comes first- our pursuit or the power to pursue him?

John Wesley claimed that it is prevenient grace that makes it possible for us to pursue Christ in the first place. So, even the power to resist other pursuits to pursue Christ comes ultimately from Christ. But it still requires us to submit to his loving lordship. Today, I will submit to Christ's loving lordship and, by his prevenient grace, intentionally remain in him.

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