Planting •  Abide
Ryan Story | Student Pastor

I had to accept something awhile ago, “I am a family man.” By that I mean I have a wife and two sons. To those who knew me in my young adult phase you know this to be true, I never thought I was going to get married let alone have kids. I accepted my fate the moment I said “I do” and I have acted accordingly. From the moment my wife told me she was pregnant, I accepted my fate. In those moments, I knew I would not leave my family; I would remain even through the toughest of times. I would always abide with my family.

In John 15:1-11, Jesus explains that He is the True Vine. Repeatedly, Jesus says, “abide in me.” Simply put the word “abide” means “to stay with.” There are two major ways I look at this section of Scripture. The first is how our lives look when we abide with Jesus. To hear Jesus talk about us abiding in Him is comforting like a warm blanket on a cold day. Abiding with Jesus, staying with Jesus, is a decision that never comes back void. It amazes me that people honestly walk away from Him. Take a moment today to think of ways that you can abide more richly in Him.

There needs to be the mega application. When we abide in Jesus fully, we can abide better with those we love. I was able to come to a profound truth recently, if Jesus does not remain my Number One, everything else falls apart. I was told once to think of life like plate spinning. It takes time to get the big plate moving, but once it gets moving you can focus on other plates, and some are larger than others. So if abiding in Jesus is the big plate, then my wife is the next biggest plate, and my sons are the next biggest plate. I have to get the bigger ones going or else, the smaller ones will fall. If I am not focusing on the bigger plate, then I am not focusing on the correct order of plate. Everything will fall. Abiding in Jesus is great because when we fully commit to Him, He seems to help elevate every other area. Who knew making my wife #2 and Jesus my #1 would be the best thing for our marriage?

I truly enjoy my walk with God and enjoy the adventure I am on with my family. There are few things in my life that bring me genuine joy. Jesus and my family are the two at the top of my list. I mess up, and at times I feel like a sub-par husband and a below average father. But that does not stop me from figuring out what I need to do to change that. The issue always seems to be when I start walking away from God. Abiding with God for the sake of my family seems to be the one thing that always seems to fix the issues. What are the things that bring you true joy? If they are found in God, how can growing closer to God help you grow in your joy?

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