From Fathers Heart To Yours
Thursday, October 19, 2017
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Abiding in Christ

 

I do not know about you but when I read my Bible, I pay close attention when it is Jesus speaking. Some people refer to this as the, "red words" because most Bibles have all of Jesus spoken words in red.

When I get to John chapter 15, I find Jesus telling us that He wants us to abide in Him and He in us. To aide means to stay. Our Lord is calling us to stay in Him and He will stay in us. Then, He gives us promises and warnings about abiding in Him.

The first of His concerns is about bringing forth fruit. As a Christian, we all should be concerned about the fruit we bear or the lack of it. Jesus told us that the tree is known by the fruit it bears. (Matt. 7:16-20) Then when we look at Paul's writings he speaks of fruits of righteousness and the fruit of the spirit which are the same.( Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 5:9, Phil. 1:11)

These spiritual fruits cannot be produced apart from Jesus. (see v. 4-5) I think a lot of people get mixed up here thinking they must work and make changes in their lives purely by their own efforts. When this happens, we usually find a burned out believer, a backslider, who is not abiding in Christ because they feel that they can never" measure up", so to speak. Often we find other seasoned Christians and some ministers putting undo pressure on believers that they simply cannot bear.

Jesus said, "Without me ye can do nothing. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can you, except ye abide in me." There you have it! Jesus is our source of nourishment and life just like the vine or trees is to its own branches. if the connection is broken, the nourishment stops and there can be no fruit bearing.

Bearing fruit is so important to Jesus. He connects fruit bearing with prayer and both with the glory of God and being a true disciple of Christ. Just listen to His words in verses 7 and 8, " If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."

A very important connection is made here. It is that we, as true disciples of Christ should obey His Word.  His Word must be in us in order to stay or abide in Him. I always tell people that prayer and the Word is the key to everything. By staying in the Word, the Word will stay in us. This is the way we maintain our nourishment and life and it is the way that we stay in Christ.

By staying in Christ and Christ in us, we begin to take on His nature in much the same way a branch will take on the appearance and nature of the tree it is attached to. The eventual result of it is that fruit comes forth and that fruit  testifies of what kind of tree it came from.

"If you keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love." (v 10)

Obedience, faith and love all go hand in hand. To say we are disciples, Christians, but not obey our Fathers commands makes us liars. It not only damages us, it damages people around us. They look at what we are, which is a result of who we stay with. We will bear fruit  of the source of nourishment that we receive.

To say we are in right standing with God means that we are trusting Jesus to save us from our sins. We are also spending time with Him in His Word, in prayer and we are bearing the right kind of fruit that glorifies God because He is pleased.

Can you say, this is your life? If not, it can be. Simply call on Jesus for mercy and commit to doing things His way. The right result will come, a life abiding in Christ!