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4 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. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If 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 be in you, and that your joy may be full.
This past Sunday we took a look at this passage and focused on the fact that as believers we must fan the flames of our love for Christ in such a way that our love of Him grows to a point that we are able to make an impact on the world around us.
As hard as it is to believe (especially in light of 45-minute sermons) there is always so much more to be said on a Sunday than I actually get to say. So let’s take a deeper look at Jesus desire for us to abide in Him.
To abide in Christ means to remain in Him. In this passage, Jesus is sharing with His disciples a spiritual growth plan. He knows that He is about to leave them, and He knows that their lives will be difficult. But difficult does not have to mean disastrous. What Jesus wants for those who follow Him is a complete joy, a joy that is found in a deep and abiding relationship with Him.
He doesn’t want you to settle for superficial. In fact, he knows that in order for you to really survive the onslaught that this world will throw at you, you need something real, something deep, something that satisfies your soul. This cannot be found in superficial faith because superficial faith will fail.
But a true and abiding trust in Christ will carry you through life’s toughest storms. So Jesus teaches us that we find that by remaining in Him.
This abiding relationship is found in at least ways.
We remain in His word. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you.”
There is power to be found in the Word of God. It will cut you to the core. It will shed a new light on your life. Hebrews 4:12-13 says it this way, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Believer, open yourself to this power and let God change your life! Get in the word. Find a bible-teaching church. Talk with other believers about your time in God’s word. Go deep and often to this well of God’s wisdom.
We remain in His love. Satan wants you to feel unloved. He wants you to believe that God has let you down. He wants you to think that you are being abandoned. Don’t fall for this temptation.
Trust the God who has saved you. Live in the love of Ephesians 1:4-14 where Paul reminds us that “In love, he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire of possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Oh how He loves you! He stepped out of glory for you, He hung on a cross for you, and He has claimed you as His own. Never forget this! Remain in this love!
We remain in His commandments. This is not to earn our salvation. We’ve been given this wonderful gift. But my remaining in His commandments we will find ourselves square in His will and inside the boundaries that He has placed around our life to grow us and guide and it’s here that we find full joy.
So today let me encourage you. Don’t settle for a superficial faith that won’t last.
Abide in Him, and He will abide in you, and your joy will be complete.