Everyone needs some level of attention. Everyone wants to be surrounded by good people and
family. How can we abide with the Lord as well as with the people he has put in our lives? How
can we get good things to surround the people in whose lives God has put us so that none of
them might become orphan?
“On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” (John 14:20)
You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you
How can we be sure that we are in the Lord, and that Lord is in our lives? To be in the Lord, we
need to know him. To be in the Lord, we need to abide with him. To be in the Lord, we need to
keep his words and guidelines of life. In other words, we need to keep the principles, the Spirit of
truth and the word of the Lord around us, in us and in our lives:
“Jesus said to his disciples:
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate,
to be with you forever.
This is the Spirit of truth,
whom the world cannot receive,
because it neither sees him nor knows him.
You know him, because he abides with you,
and he will be in you.” (John 14:15-17)
Conditions to show that we are surrounded by the goodness of the Lord include the following:
we will keep his things, his words, and his instructions; we will love the things, the words, and
the recipes of life he gives us; we will know what he loves to accomplish in our lives; and we
will abide with him.
Because I live, you also will live
God abides with us because he nourishes and sustains our lives. We live because God lives. We
live because God lives in us. In fact, we live because God grafted the life of each person in Him.
This is the reason why Jesus says he lives in God, the Father. What will happen if God stops to
live in each human life? If that happens, human life will be a disaster. Think about how many
instances and times human persons have created situations and things that could have terminated
human life, if God did not intervene to rescue humanity from total disaster. Jesus therefore says,
“ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ γνώσεσθε ὑμεῖς ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ Πατρί μου, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν ἐμοὶ, κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν,
On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). In
this verse (John 14:20), we see intricate relation among the personal pronouns Jesus used to
express the indispensable relationship between the Lord and each human person. Jesus uses the
pronoun “I” as subject of the verb and “me” as indirect object of the verb, “you” as subject of the
verb and “you” as indirect object of the verb to denote the intricate relationship between God and
human person: for example, ἐγὼ “I am” and κἀγὼ “and I am”, and καὶ ὑμεῖς “and you [are]”
express the subject of the verb “to be”, while ἐν ἐμοὶ “in me”, ἐν ὑμῖν “in you” and ἐν τῷ Πατρί
μου “in the Father of me” express the indirect object of the verb “to be”. All this is to show that
the life of each person as a “subject” and “indirect object” of any action (represented by a verb)
should be anchored in God the subject and indirect object of human life. What will happen if
God does not want to be the subject and indirect object of our lives? What will happen if we do
not want to be part of the subject and indirect object of life in God, the Father, and His son, Jesus
Christ? With God as subject and indirect object of the human person, no human life should
become alien, strange, reckless, uninhabited, abandoned, orphan any longer:
“I will not leave you orphaned;
I am coming to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me;
because I live, you also will live.
On that day you will know that I am in my Father,
and you in me, and I in you.
“They who have my commandments and keep them
are those who love me;
and those who love me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” John 14:18-21)
The question is, are we living because Jesus lives in his Father, and because God lives, and God
wants to live in our lives? Jesus will not leave anybody to become an orphan, but what are we
doing so that we do not make ourselves orphans of God? What are we doing so that we do not
make Jesus orphan of the people for whom he saved and to whom he sends the Advocate? What
are we doing so that we do not leave ourselves orphans of the spiritual treasures and relationships
that Jesus has prepared for each one of us? What are we doing to show that we know Jesus is in
the Father, and that we are in Jesus, and that Jesus is in us, and that Jesus is in our lives?
That they might receive the Holy Spirit
The Lord abides with us so that he may give us life through the Holy Spirit. Life can be scattered
if it is not sustained and surrounded by the vigor of the Holy Spirit. Life is persecuted and
shattered if it is not shielded and sheltered by Holy Spirit. Philip has shown that with the Holy
Spirit each person can receive new signs and great joy even if each person sometimes undergoes
any human or supernatural persecutions. When the Holy Spirit abides with us, we receive the
strength to resist the forces of unclean spirits that try to possess, paralyse, and scatter our lives
away from abiding with God:
“A severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem,
and all except the apostles were scattered.
Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Messiah to them.
The crowds with one accord listened eagerly
to what was said by Philip,
hearing and seeing the signs that he did,
for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks,
came out of many who were possessed;
and many others who were paralysed or lame were cured.
So there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8.5-8)
To abide with the Lord, we need to support and sustain each other as Philip, Peter and John did
when they built a New Testament community in Samaria. They laid their hands on the believers
of Samaria so that the unclean spirits and forces that scatter human life might be definitely gone:
“Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard
that Samaria had accepted the word of God,
they sent Peter and John to them.
The two went down and prayed for them
that they might receive the Holy Spirit;
(for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them;
they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus).
Then Peter and John laid their hands on them,
and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:14-17)
What greatest joy can we look for than the one from the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit to
drive away forces of persecution (from human and unnatural sources)?
For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will
When the Lord abides with us, he will sustain our lives during the events that occur according to
his will. Within the will of God, he offers all that will bring us to Him. Does that mean we
should go out there to look for any suffering at any cost? No. We need to keep Christ in our
hearts to sanctify him:
“In your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord.
Always be ready to make your defence
to anyone who demands from you an accounting
for the hope that is in you;
yet do it with gentleness and reverence.
Keep your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ
may be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if suffering should be God’s will,
than to suffer for doing evil.
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all,
the righteous for the unrighteous,
in order to bring you to God.
He was put to death in the flesh,
but made alive in the spirit.” (1 Peter 3.15-18)
The Lord is full of gentleness and reverence. As he abides with us, he cultivates his gentleness,
reverence, goodness, righteousness, and Spirit in each of us.
What will happen if we do not want to abide in the subject and indirect object of life of God and
His son, Jesus Christ? How can we ensure that with God as subject and indirect object of our life,
no one becomes alien, stranger, reckless, uninhabited, abandoned, or orphan? Jesus will not leave
anybody to become an orphan, but what are we doing so that we do not make ourselves orphans
of God and Jesus Christ? Given that life might be scattered if it does not abide with the vigor of
the Holy Spirit, how can we allow the Spirit of God to cultivate his goodness and features in us?