ABIDING IN JESUS
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.(Jhn 15:5 NASB)
Have ever had this unnerving experience, where you try to obey the Lord concerning a particular scripture you have heard and you find that the very moment you become determined, oh! that?s the time you flop in that area the most. I will never forget a time I got obsessed with 1corth 13 (amp) which talks about the components of love. I determined within me to tackle one component at a time. I started with patience. Ah! It was the most trying period for me- I had a relative visiting with me at the time- I would prepare a particular meal for the family and she would insist on eating something else. When I made something of her choice, she would barely touch the meal! I was trying my best to be patient and kind but that was just the beginning; she started giving me free unsolicited advice on how to take ?better? care of my kids! I became so upset, I could barely see straight! Oh, I quickly gave up the quest to be patient till a ?better? and more ?conducive? opportunity. When I asked the Lord about my experience, He explained that the way to develop a desired spiritual skill is by having circumstances in that area to help create the experiences you need to mature (James 1:3-4 amp).There was no time ?better? and more ?conducive? than during my aunt?s visit, but I was too upset that I didn?t realize it. Jesus further pointed out John 15:5 to me saying I would fail at even the most ?seemingly? easy things if I did not ask for His help and grace(Mt 7:7). It?s not enough to be determined in the flesh; If I dint plan to allow Him help me, I would not really experience permanent victory in any area of my life. I find that we are very eager to please the Lord but we are not always good at doing the things he expects of us ?with him?-we want to do things ?for Jesus?. That?s so wonderful but if we would only remember that apart from him we can do nothing, we would be saved lots of headaches and disappointments. You cannot successfully forgive that brother for the unkind words he said about you, if you don?t ask Jesus for help. You can?t love that over bearing, opinionated sister either. Hey, you can?t even be patient with your ?sometimes insensitive? partner! Try being humble without His help- good luck with that! To be the loving, victorious person Jesus has made us to be, we must abide in him; in his words.
To ?abide? has been described to mean,
to ?submit to?, to ?dwell in?, to ?continue in? and to ?remain in?.In the opening scripture, the Lord describes His relationship with us in a peculiar way-the vine and the branches. Just as the vine sustains the branches, so also we are sustained by abiding (dwelling) in him. In verse four of the same chapter (amplified version), he lets us know we cannot be continuously fruitful unless we abide in Him?. Now, why is it important for us to be fruitful? The answer is seen in verse two: any branch in Christ that does not bear fruit or stops bearing fruit, the Father (God) cuts away. some people argue that ?cut away? does not literarily mean being cut off from Jesus; I wouldn?t like to argue about exactly what the Lord means, but I believe to be ?cut away? must not mean something great! To be fruitful simple means, to produce what the word talks about, in your life (we will discuss this in detail in a separate study). The focus is to abide in Christ so we can be fruitful. We abide, by keeping His words continually alive in our hearts and pondering devotedly on them. Remember that our hearts are the soil for the word (seeds) to grow (Mk 4:14-15,20 amp).
Some of the most beautiful promises Jesus made in His word, are specifically to those who follow and keep his words (Jhn 5:24,jhn 15:7,jhn 8:31,Jhn 8:51,jhn 15:5,jhn 15 :10). This is so important because, many of us unconsciously build our Christian foundation on the words of our pastors, friends and even the apostles. Please don?t misunderstand me, I believe the apostles wrote those wonderful letters under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost but, we were privileged to have Jesus speak directly to us in a few books in the New Testament. Those words should form our foundation (Mt 7:24-27amp), while we can build on it, with the teachings of the apostles. In Matthew 7:21-23(amp); Jesus says, not everyone who says ?Lord? will enter His kingdom. These were people (personally, I believe they were believers because they called Him ?Lord?) who prophesied and did many mighty works in His name but he rejected them saying He NEVER knew them! Why? Verse 23- they acted wickedly- disregarding his commands (his words). Clearly, if we don?t spend time with Jesus and ponder carefully His words, we cannot successfully dwell in them and chances are, we would disregard them. Jesus said the amount of time you spend on my word determines the power of that word that comes to you (Mk 4:24 amp).
I would love to hear about your experiences that relate to the topic we are discussing; please do share. Hey, I don?t know about you but I wouldn?t want Jesus to give a ?cold shoulder? when I finally see Him. Would you?