Abiding in Him By Pastor Kevin Stephens 0

In John 15, Jesus gives His disciples a parable to help us understand the position, or rather, the relationship we’re to maintain with Him and the Father.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”  John 15:1-6 (KJV)

“To abide” simply means to live in.  It means to dwell, a place to operate from, to thrive from.  God has made it clear, as people of faith we must be rooted and dwell “in Him”.  This is how we are to stay alive and bear fruit.  This is how the Father can tend to us and keep us growing and strong.

So as His disciples, this is how we’re to live, “abiding in Him”.  You see, vines are where the branches grow from, and God is shown as the gardener.

First, look at that “Abide in me, and I in you”.  Look at the intimacy.  Look at the devotion.

This is not an invitation that is lightly or casually made. So many of us believers have been content to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior; but the relationship grows no deeper than that.

We accept the invitation to salvation, we accept the invitation to join a church, to join the usher board…the children’s ministry to join the choir or the praise team…to join the Body of Christ…yet somehow…we miss the invitation to join Jesus Christ himself.

Think about this for a moment, picture a cluster of grapes.  These grapes are fruit, harvested from a branch, that grew from a vine.  The grapes are now separated from the branch, and nothing more will grow with or from those grapes.  This is just like it is for us, if we try to grow or bear more fruit apart from Him.

How many of us have tried to bear fruit without a connection to the vine?  Without Him we can do nothing.  Have you ever looked at a cluster of grapes from the store and expected the grapes to produce more grapes?  Not simply from a fruit bearing question, but really…what can you do without Christ other than suffer needlessly and fail?

The withered branch draws energy from the vine.  The other branches and fruit end up suffering, so the wise gardener removes those branches and burns them.  This is how His Father, our Father, is glorified…that you bear fruit!!! He wants you to bear fruitful, to produce, to grow more.

This is the proof of your discipleship.  That you bear much fruit, not just a fruit.

Not the one cousin you led to the Lord.  Not the one person who saw your bible on your desk.

You know that dusty, unopened, bible you see on some folk’s desk. He wants us to bear much fruit!  For Christ’s sake, let’s lead all of our cousins to the Lord! Let’s live a lifetime that witnesses to the glory of God!  Let’s learn the power of abiding in him today, so that we can grow in him and bear fruit that will last.

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