John 15:5 (ESV) tells us that Christ also abides in us! That just blows me away! I wonder as David did:
What is man that You are mindful of him,Psalm 8:4 NKJV
And the son of man that You give attention to him?
I try to be obedient to God and His Word. As I grow and mature in my faith, I’m more mindful of God in my everyday life. I’m more aware of the Holy Spirit living within me, guiding me. It is such a blessing. John MacArthur defines the word abiding as “remaining,” and in that respect, I can answer yesterday’s question with a definitive “yes.”
Ever since God brought me back to Him, I have remained in Him. I never want to walk away again. I’ve sown my wild oats, sunk to my lowest low, and know that feeling of isolation that comes when I do not abide in Christ.
In today’s passage, the branches that are thrown away are unbelievers; they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire come Judgment Day. What can we, as healthy branches, do to give them a chance at new life? The Vinedresser takes care of us, prunes us, gets rid of the worldly things that distract us from Him.
A few weeks ago, we talked about busyness and how it detracts from what God calls us to do. A woman at church shared the acronym:
Allow the Father to help you fight this. He is constantly pruning. We just need to be obedient, and we will bear much fruit. Disobedience drains nutrients from the branches, which weakens them.
I read a point of interest in John MacArthur’s study Bible that Jesus is speaking to the disciples here. Eleven of them were bearing fruit. One of them was a dead branch that will be thrown into the fire.
Jesus wants all of us to be able to abide in His love just as He abides in His (our) Father’s love. That should drop us to our knees that He loves us that much! He tells us that we can experience His joy, that our “joy may be full.” Who wouldn’t want that? What a blessing to be loved so much. This feeling and message should be foremost on our minds continually. Share the good news!
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. 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. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 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. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
John 15:5-11 ESV
See also from my previous blog:
Truth equals freedom
Please join me this week in praising our Father for being the loving, caring Vinedresser. Ask Him to show you which type of branch you are. Ask Him to lift up those branches which are not bearing fruit. Ask Him to show you how you can help in the vineyard. Let’s also pray that the Holy Spirit continually work with our loved ones and us so that we may completely abide in Jesus.