As we enter into a new season of ministry with camps and seasonal retreats, our theme this summer is ‘Abide.’ We’ll be focusing on John 15. Christ is the ultimate teacher, and His ability to

illustrate truth is without comparison. The night before His crucifixion He is instructing His disciples in the reality of what it is to be a true follower of His. Hours before His death, He tells His disciples “I Am the True Vine.” This is the last of the seven “I Am” statements found in the book of John. We will be studying three things true of followers of Jesus Christ that we find in John 15. They bear fruit, they abide (or remain) in Christ’s love, and they keep His commandments.

To abide describes something that remains where it is – continues or endures. To abide in Christ is to maintain unbroken communion with Him. Jesus’ plea is for false followers to repent and express true faith in Him. It also was an encouragement to true believers to abide in Him fully. I believe that abiding is a position of true followers of Christ, but we must also learn to lean into this reality. So, what does abiding look like in our daily lives?

Abiding in Christ is more than just spiritual disciplines, but it’s not less than that, either. I believe an aspect of abiding is “ordering” our life around Christ. How often do we think to consult him before building our to-do lists or in the transitions of our day? Do we ask Him for wisdom as we approach our relationships? Abiding in Christ is trusting Him to meet all needs and be our treasure. Abiding should also produce “fruit” in our lives, like love, joy, peace, patience, etc.  We all want to see fruit, but only abiding in Christ can produce the genuine fruit that is pleasing to the Lord. Sometimes this lack of fruit is the revealing of the health of our relationship with Him.  It’s not a self-manufactured fruit, but instead, the result of abiding.

Recently I’ve been walking through some health challenges, and though my body isn’t able to do the things that I’d like it to do, my spirit is still very active.  Sometimes this is felt in restlessness or anxiousness, but at other times God reminds me to abide in Him for my strength and peace in the midst of the pain.  So in those times of unease, these are some of the ways we can abide:

Abide in My Word – “Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples’.” (John 8:31)  Abide in My Love –  “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my

commandments, you will abide in my love…” (John 15:9)  Abide in Me –  “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.” (John 15:4)

The command to ‘abide in Me’ is more than a daily meeting each morning, then off to the races. It is a continual living in His presence. As I consider this call, I am comforted by what I know of God in His word; His faithfulness, His love, His mercy, and the assurance that He never changes. He is love. He is light. He is good.

Matt Cox
Executive Director, Miracle Mountain Ranch


Read more staff and camp updates in the Spring 2024 Boxcross.