"Abide in me, and I in you. For just as the branch cannot bear any fruit unless it abides in the vine, so you can produce nothing unless you abide in me." John 15
We talk about the "life of Abiding" so much and so often that I am completely used to, completely expectant of, the question that almost always immediately follows: "Yes, but what is 'Abiding'?" Fortunately for me, I don't ever have to answer myself, because Jesus gives the best definition by His use of direct comparison.
"For just as the branch cannot bear any fruit unless it ABIDES in the vine, so you can produce nothing unless you ABIDE in me." We should understand the words "Abide in me, and I in you" just as literally and clearly as we can see the workings of a branch and vine. The branch is part of the vine, shares the life of the vine, unreservedly accepts the sap of the vine, and bears the exact fruit of the vine from which it grows. It doesn't appear to fret much, to question, to take itself very seriously; it simply hangs on, lives and bears fruit.
Jesus is saying to us: "Come. Be part of me. Share my life. Be infused with my Holy Spirit. Bear the fruit I bore. Don't fret; no need to question; stop taking yourself so seriously - simply live in me and I in you. I cannot fail to bear my own fruit through you."
Brothers and Sisters, may we take full advantage of the intimacy and joy that are daily offered by sourcing our lives in Jesus' life. Let us, everyday, every minute of every day, Abide in Him. This is the Way.
“Every man who knows my commandments and obeys them is the man who really loves me, and every man who really loves me will himself be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and make myself known to him.” From John 14
What a wondrous cycle of love and life and living we are part of when we’re part of the Kingdom of Heaven! Out of the little bit of Him that we presently know, we obey, and, because of our obedience, we are enwrapped by the love of the Father, and Jesus too, and Jesus then shows us more of Himself.
To know is to obey is to love is to be loved is to know even more of His glory.
The cycle never ends. We live inside it and it lives inside of us. That, in my opinion, is the very definition of John 10:10 – “life, and life more abundant.” Let's enjoy it to the full today!
In reading through an excellent book on George Washington's interim years between the War and his presidency (Edward J. Larson's The Return of George Washington), I've been struck by his building, burning desire that a Constitution should be composed in order to solidify a national union of the states. His fear was that the disparate parts would become so disunited that the War with England would've been for naught...
The Church's Constitution has already been composed - it's Jesus, the Word Incarnate - and our "states" are the individual members of the Body of Christ. Our personal Union with Jesus constitutes the only path to Union in the Body; we will only be one with each other as we are one with Him.
It's Union or nothing. There is no middle path except the straight and narrow.