Bible reading: John 15: 1-10
Abiding. One word that could mean our very lives. Some of its kin words are enduring, continuing, lasting, undying. Abiding, an action word that the Lord spoke of and requires our decision, obedience, and committment.
The Lord commands us to abide in Him. He cites many important reasons why we have to do so, and there are also sweet promises attached to them that will lead us to the abundant life. But abiding is not just for a season. Our commitment to abide mustn’t change or diminish. Wherever we are in our faith walk, whether we are soaring under azure skies, or groping in a dark valley, we must abide.
When we forage on the first ten verses of John 15, looking for food for our hungry souls yet again, we gather these:
- WE BEAR MUCH FRUIT WHEN WE ABIDE. It is only when we remain securely fixed with Jesus that we have life and can bear fruit. As the tree’s roots are deeply fastened to the earth’s bosom and drink from it to nourish the tree that it flourishes and becomes laden with fruits, we must be deeply rooted in the bosom of Christ and drink from this Rock so that we continue to grow and bear fruit. We bear the fruit of righteousness, holiness, mercy, love, faithfulness, peace, joy… Our lives become shining lights that reflect God’s beauty. Our hearts become treasuries of virtues that overflow and reach out to share, to give.
It is when we bear much fruit that God is glorified in us and we become true disciples of Christ (v. 8).
- Without Christ, WE CAN DO NOTHING. The Lord is our life-giver, He breathes life into our nostrils (Gen. 2:7). He is the source of our strength (Ex. 15:2). He gives us power to get wealth (Deut. 8:18). He is the source of all wisdom; He puts wisdom and understanding into our hearts (Job 12:13; Job 38:36). He gives to all life, all the things that we’ll ever need! (Acts 17:25). So if we think that we can do without Him, we are gravely mistaken!
- When we are severed from Him, WE WITHER, WE DIE, WE ARE CAST AWAY and BURNED.
How horrible! These words shall be our lifeline. We shall carve them in our hearts and remember them, especially in the dark hours of great temptation – that we shall NEVER LET GO OF JESUS CHRIST! So, abide. Cling. Clutch.
- WE HAVE GOD’S FAVOR when we abide in Him. Yes, all the good things that a loving Father can pour out to His beloved, abiding child, it’s His promise! Maybe we’ve been agonizingly wondering why there weren’t answers to our prayers. This is it, maybe we’ve not been faithfully and steadfastly abiding in the Lord and in His Word. Maybe it has been an “on-again, off-again” kind of relationship that we’ve managed to show.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, YE SHALL ASK WHAT YE WILL, and IT SHALL BE DONE UNTO YOU. (John 15:7, emphasis added)
How do we abide in the Lord? We listen to His voice and obey it. We keep His Word, His commandments, securely in our hearts. We daily live them out. We walk in His Spirit, following closely in every step, in every stride, in every leap, ALWAYS in the Holy Spirit’s guidance, NEVER sliding back.
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