June 17th

Abide in Christ

4Abide in Me">

June 17th

Abide in Christ

4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  5"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[1] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.  9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.  11"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:4-12 NKJV

 

Learning how to abide in Christ is an important part of becoming fruitful for God’s kingdom.  In order to best understand what it means to abide in Christ, it’s helpful to consider the synonyms and the Greek word for abide:

  • Synonyms:  accept; acknowledge; concede; consent; endure; hang tough; receive; stand for; continue; keep on; persevere; persist; remain (Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus 1993)

·        Greek:  The Greek word used in John 15 for Abide is Meno: “to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):-- continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for)”  (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance )

 

By applying those definitions, we can say that abiding in Christ means:

·        To persist in learning and applying his teachings to our lives

·        To receive his words and accept them as applicable to us

·        To accept his Lordship over our lives, conceding control to the Holy Spirit

·        To persevere in the pursuit of “Christlikeness”

 

Many world religions are based on doing good works to earn a salvation.  Such religions are often Man's way of trying to be fruitful for a god.  Jesus shows us that unless people abide (stay) in him, they will not be successful in bearing fruit for God (vs. 4).   We must be constantly tapped into Christ the vine in order to bear “much fruit” (vs. 5).   God will be glorified by the fruit we bear when we are tapped into Christ. 

 

The main commandment that Jesus gave was to love one another as he has loved ourselves.   He showed his love for us by dying in our place for our sins, so that we will have eternal life.   The way we learn how to love like Jesus did/does is by abiding in his love (vs. 9).  We do this by keeping his commandments and the end result will be “full” joy and fruitfulness. 

 

The fruit that God’s wants us to bear basically involves showing God’s love to people.  Examples include sharing the message of Christ, praying for healing, feeding the hungry, giving to the poor, visiting the sick and ministering deliverance.  Those who do not bear fruit for God in their walk with Christ should take heed of the sobering warning in verse 6. 

 

Are you abiding in Christ?   If not, you have the opportunity today to start making changes.   You can start investing in your relationship with Christ.  Ask God today in prayer to show you the way into a fervent, rewarding and loving relationship with him.

 

Questions for further thought:

  • Considering Jesus’ vine analogy, evaluate your own connection with the Vine – how well are you connected to Jesus?
  • What are some things that inhibit your connection to the Vine? (Luke 21:34)
  • What qualifications did Jesus mention for us to be his disciples? (vs. 7)
  • If we don’t remain connected with the Vine, what may happen to our joy?
  • What is the practical way that we can abide in God’s love? (vs. 10)

 

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, Thank you for your words of life in the scriptures. I receive them and accept them as relevant and applicable to my life.  I commit myself to abiding in your word and in your love.  Please forgive me for straying from your commands into sin.  Please cleanse me by your blood and renew my convictions to live in righteousness and not sin.  Please fill me with your love and lead me in becoming fruitful for you.  I am your servant and I stand ready to do your bidding.  I praise you now and forever, Amen.”