ABIDE IN CHRIST
Have we ever left a dinner plate out overnight, putting off the need to wash and clean it for the next morning? If there was one chore I disliked growing up, it was doing dishes. Now, I’ll do them, but I won’t be happy about it. Should you ever catch me standing in front of a sink with my rubber gloves on, don’t let the smile fool you as its presence is simply holding back the tears. The Mrs. and I had an agreement when we first got married. That agreement was I would do all the laundry if she would do all the dishes. This was an easy ‘contract’ for my wife to sign as she would much rather do dishes than laundry anyway! Now, I am not crazy about doing laundry either, but it is the lesser of two evils. They say two things are guaranteed in this life: death and taxes. I would add laundry and dishes to that list of guarantees seeing as they never seem to end. But when a dish has been left out, it is much more difficult to clean in the morning. No matter what the commercials say, there always seems to be prep work that goes into properly preparing such dishes before they can be placed in the dishwasher. Otherwise, they do not get clean. While doing such prep work, sometimes we can scrub and scrub but to no avail. An alternative to all that scrubbing would be soaking it in hot soapy water. Allowing the dish to ABIDE (TO REMAIN; CONTINUE; STAY; TO DWELL/RESIDE) in such an environment allows for a difficult job to be a lot easier. The hot and soapy atmosphere breaks up the unwanted filth for us.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
As Christians we are to abide in the Lord. We are to make Him our environment, where our souls reside. When Christ is where we remain, we don’t have to worry about our life, our dish getting polluted and covered by the filth of the world. Should we get some grime here or there, removing such imperfections is easier as Christ is the Master cleaning Agent.
Man calls for us to do our best to take care of our own uncleanness. That all we need is a little elbow grease to solve our own problems and that is good enough. But when it comes to the cleaning of our souls, it takes a lot more than elbow grease and personal effort to get the job done. Such efforts fall far short of the cleanliness required to present our plate before God and receive His approval.
God calls for us to take advantage of the relationship we have with His Son. To seek and soak in Him to receive the proper cleansing only He can provide. When it comes to sin, life’s problems, struggles, and temptations, who better to turn to for help than the Lord? Why would we want to dwell elsewhere? Folly and foolishness call for us to abide anywhere else but in Christ. Pride and misguided hearts seek the cleaning abilities only Christ provides in other inferior places. We are bound to allow some kind of uncleanness to reach our plates eventually. The problems arise when we see no issue with the filth that comes in contact with the pure. If we are making a mess of our lives, if we see less and less of a problem with having a dirty dish, we must remember that small grime allows for more to pile on and become more difficult to clean when we attempt to do it ourselves or are in no hurry to be cleansed. We must purge the pollution by regularly soaking it in the solution, which is and will always be Christ. Where are we abiding?