We have been talking about what we do now as Christians given that Jesus is RISEN…
In line with the thought about what we do, we need to grasp the concept that outside of Christ, we will never be all we were called to be.
In this scripture, we are given a number of key components to following Christ and becoming more like Him. He is telling us several things that we could easily overlook if we are not careful.
First, he gives us this concept of abiding…What does it mean to abide…to remain…to continually be there…connected…not on our own
He also give us an illustration of what it means to abide that should help us to understand.
What does abiding look like?
Those who abide are pruned.
That is an important concept in keeping vines. Every year, my grandmother prunes her grape vine so that it will produce the best crop for that year. It seems counterintuitive to cut something so it grows out better. We want to see things keep blooming, but in many cases that just damages the plant.
Pruning isn’t easy…isn’t fun…isn’t what we want. But, it necessary for growth.
Those who abide bear fruit.
We know that the Bible talks a lot about bearing fruit. We studied it in Luke not too many months ago. If we are bearing fruit, others will know. If we are bearing fruit, that is an outward sign of what we believe.
Important to know we don’t bear fruit without Him. We don’t bear fruit if we aren’t connected…remaining…abiding.
Those who abide are full of joy.
Those who abide will have the joy of the Lord which is much stronger. The joy of the Lord is not dependent on circumstances. We could even say that we are joyful because God is giving us what we ask. If we look at that though, if we are abiding, we will have Christ in us and we will be seeking His will as we ask. His will becomes our will and thus we ask according to His will…and He answers.
We are joyful because our joy doesn’t depend on things of this world. It doesn’t matter what goes on in our world because we are fixed on Him.
Those who abide love others.
Because of what Jesus has done for us, it puts this amazing love inside of us that we can’t help but share with others. When we abide in Him, we automatically love others.
He is telling us that we are to continually love us…this is an ongoing love that He is talking about…not a one time – love you today – type of love. This is a continual love for others in our lives. Because we are called…because we are appointed…because we are abiding…we LOVE.
Are you abiding? If not, it is time that we become connected to the vine.