January 7, 2024

It’s the first week of the new year. In our house, that means Christmas decorations are coming down, but it also means Christmas gifts are still being enjoyed. My son, Elijah, is countless bags deep into his Lego Hogwarts Castle and enjoying every brick of it.

At Grace, we’ve just spent six weeks marveling over the incarnation of Christ and the gift this enabled Him to secure for us. The eternal Son of God, co-equal with the Father and the Spirit, took on a fully human nature, born into our family so that he might become our Savior “suffering once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18).” He now stands forever as our Great High Priest, welcoming us into deep, intimate, and everlasting fellowship with God.

Simply put, Jesus’ Christmas gift to us is abundant life.

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).”

So how are we enjoying this gift?

We are taking these first two Sundays of 2024 to reacquaint ourselves with Jesus’ “instruction manual” for enjoying the gift of abundant life. That’s how we can think of his teaching in John 15:1-11. Like branches springing from a healthy vine, He urges us, “Abide in me and I in you,” and, “Abide in my love.” And we know he intends for this gift to bring us great joy because He tells us so.

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11).”

Who doesn’t want to be filled with the same joy Jesus is overflowing with?

Our text for both Sundays will be John 15:1-11. This Sunday, Kenny Clark will be preaching, with an emphasis on the role the word of Christ plays in our abiding. Next Sunday, Eric Twisselmann will be preaching with an emphasis on the role of prayer. And Cole Jones will be leading our sung worship this Sunday. Would you please pray for each as they prepare?

See you Sunday, Grace. Let’s come hungry!

 

SONG OF THE WEEK

Abide by the Worship Initiative with Davy Flowers

You’re the way the truth and the life
You’re the well that never runs dry
I’m the branch and You are the vine
Draw me close and teach me to abide