Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Where Do You Abide? - August 9th, 2011

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
John 15:4-8

History and Context:
John is by far the most poetic if the Gospel writers. He focused on the teachings of Jesus more than the actions. The Gospel of John is particularly famous for the seven "I am" statements of Christ. These seven statements each depict an aspect of who Christ is in relationship to the church and to the world. Jesus declares that He is; 1) The Bread of Life (John 6:35), 2) The Light of the World (John 8:12), 3) The Gate (John 10:9), 4) The Good Sheperd (John 10:11), 5) The Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25-26), 6) The Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), and finally 7) The Vine (John 15:5). Each one of these statements depict an important aspect of who Jesus is. As noted yesterday, John depicts in his Gospel an understanding of how much Jesus loved him, by referring to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved".

The Text:
In this text, and in this whole chapter, Jesus repeats one word over and over again; abide. Abide means to live or to dwell. It denotes a constant period of time. He says that we are to abide in Him. This means that we should be living our lives in Him. Not just referring to Him once or twice a day. He uses the analogy of a vine and branches. The branches never leave the vine. If they ever did they would die because the vine is their source of life. Not only that but they would be gathered up with the debris and thrown into the fire. Jesus is our source of life and we need to be constantly connected to Him. We need to be connected to Him in our daily life, in whatever we do. Once we leave Him, we immediately begin losing our life.

The Challenge:
This is why there are so many 'dead' Christians out there. They are trying to live off of two hours of life once a week. They go to church and think that is the only time that they need to be connected to the vine. But then they spend six days spiritually dieing until they finally get back to church for another shot of life. Even the pastors will wait until Friday or Saturday to begin seeking after the life so they can prepare their sermon for Sunday. Imagine how different our church services would be if we were constantly connected to our source of life. If we were strengthening our life and walk with God 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I challenge you today to bring Jesus into your whole day. Bring Jesus into your school, your work, or wherever it is that you are today. Just be conscious of who He is and that He is present. Talk to Him when you get a chance. Listen to what He wants to say to you. I guarantee that if you do this, it will revolutionize your Christian walk.

The Prayer:
Lord, help me to abide in you. It is so easy to get caught up in my everyday life that I forget to aknowledge you. Help me to constantly think on you, to hear what you have to say and to bring my issues and problems to you. Help me to meditate on your Word throughout my day. Thank you Lord! In Jesus' name, Amen!

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