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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”— 1 John 2:6 (NKJV)
“If you want to live under my roof, you’ll abide by my rules!” I remember hearing this on TV a lot growing up on shows like Full House, Family Matters, and Boy Meets World. It was always shouted at a rebellious teenage child and usually followed by this threat: “Well maybe I won’t live in your house anymore!”
As a kid, I recall having a tenuous grasp on the definition of the word abide. I figured it had something to do with following the rules, but didn’t comprehend the full scope. Merriam-Webster defines it this way: “To comply with, obey, hold to, conform to, stand by, act in accordance with.”
In today’s verse, the apostle John tells us that if we truly abide (menein) in Christ Jesus, then we’re going to live our lives the way that He lived. In context of the passage, this word abide means to know and understand that He is within you, and to live, act, and think in that conscious reality—to be rooted in Him, knit to Him by the Spirit you’ve received from Him. Just like Jesus abides in the Father, connected and woven together, inseparable, so are we to be with Him.
So what does it look like to abide in Him? Well, Albert Barnes tells us it means we are to “live and act as He did. If he (or she) is one with Him, or professes to be united to Him, he (or she) ought to imitate Him in all things.” I don’t think there is a better way to describe it than this. We are to be imitators of Jesus—copycats—in all things. Every day, we should intentionally seek to walk like Him, talk like Him, think like Him, love like Him, show compassion and mercy like Him, and reach out to others like Him. This should be the goal of every believer . . . to be like their Savior.
Does this happen overnight? Definitely not! Abiding in Christ, being imitators of Him, takes effort, pruning, and daily surrender. It takes training and practice. The more we learn about Jesus through the Scriptures, the more time we spend in prayer, worship, and fasting, the more we’re around spiritually mature believers who’ve been practicing the abiding principle for longer than us (1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1; Philippians 3:17), then the more we are going to abide in Him. I pray that each and every day, we can abide more and more in Him and experience the amazing blessings that come from it.
DIG: Read John 8:31–36 and 1 John 2.
DISCOVER: What are some things you can do every day to ensure you’re abiding in Christ?
DISPLAY: Every morning as you pray, tell the Lord you want to abide in Him, that you want to surrender your will and desires to imitate Him, and ask Him for the strength, discernment, and guidance so you can put this into practice.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.