As Lent commences today, let us use it as a time to reflect and strengthen our relationship with Jesus. For scripture says ‘Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me’ (John 15:4). Jesus knew how important it was for His disciples to be clear about their relationship to Him. And using the familiar symbol of a vine, He identified Himself as the True Vine.
Christ invites us to “remain” in Him and in His word and love. The meaning offers such peace, rest, and safety; and this is what Lent is all about. It is an opportunity for us to strip away other things, make time for prayer, and repent, so that we may remain in him as he remains in us. Use this season to become completely vulnerable before God and connect with Him.
Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded… Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you upJames 4:8,10
Not only does James call us to draw near [to move closer] to God, he asks us to humble ourselves before Him. This comes with an additional promise: God will respond by moving closer to us. That’s an incredible act of mercy on God’s part! In His response He will fill us with His presence so that we “bear fruit”. And scripture reminds us in Galatians 5:22-23 ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…’
So, this Lenten season, let us set aside our wants and needs, come humbly and meekly before God, recognising our need for our Saviour above all. We have the chance to grow in our faith as we think upon all that Jesus Christ has done for us; and approach Good Friday and Easter with thanksgiving for the grace and mercy shown to us.