I have been reading the first few verses of John 15. The Holy Spirit spoke to me in an extraordinary way that I needed to do an in depth study of what it really means to abide in Christ. I am at a place in my life where I want less of me and more of God to be what others see in me. I don’t want to do things just for the sake of doing them, but want every single thing to count for something in the Kingdom of God.
I took some time to really study the first five verses of John 15 and listed the meaning of each key word in another website I have called Blueprint for Victorious Christian Living. Please take the time now to click on the link in the previous sentence and study these verses as I did.
I have realized that in the past I have only partially understood what the Bible talks about as “abiding.” Jesus is the one and only true vine and it is the job of the Father to take care of and defend the branches on the vine so they will produce the best fruit.
The vine, or main stalk, yields the proper juice and nourishment to all the branches, whether large or small, but all the nourishment must pass through the vine first.
Some of the branches might be very large but not producing much fruit and sheltering other smaller branches so they cannot grow well. These large branches still receive nourishment even though they don’t produce much fruit, but they absorb a lot of energy from the rest of the vine that smaller branches could use that are already producing fruit. For this reason God must prune as much as is necessary and needful in order to keep the vine healthy, even if it means cutting off some large branches.
For much of my life I have looked at pruning as a bad thing, or felt that God was punishing me for something I either did or didn’t do; but as I have started to really understand these verses I see that God only has my best interest in mind when He changes things or cleans up my life in certain areas. Sometimes I am not even aware that I need to change, and I might have a large branch in my life that I think is important, but in actuality is covering a smaller branch that God wants to grow and develop further. His job is to continually tweak and purge the branches so they give off the sweetest fruit.
To truly abide in the vine is to become united with Christ in every area of your life: your interests, desires, and feelings.
It is a union of friendship, love and dependence; a union of weakness with strength; of imperfection with perfection; of a dying nature with a living Savior; of a lost sinner with an unchanging Friend and Redeemer. (Barnes Study Notes)
Verse 4 starts out “Abide in me, and I in you…”
The Greek meaning of this verb means to remain as one, not to become another or different and is in the Imperative Mood, which expresses a command to the hearer to perform a certain action by the order and authority of the one commanding (Jesus.)
So Jesus commands His Children to get to know Him so intimately that total obedience and dependence are a natural way of life.
The vine itself sends out juices and sap in accordance with the growth and fruitfulness of the branch. So the tighter you are connected to the vine, the sweeter and better the fruit you will bear.
The next time you feel you are being pruned, don’t think of it as a bad thing like I have done in the past. Think about it in the context that God loves you so much that He doesn’t want you to be just a ho-hum, boring Christian. He wants to get rid of the things that are weighing you down, and replace them with ones that are productive and will bring glory to His Kingdom.
What a way to live! You certainly won’t lead a boring life!
This post written by Cathy Deaton.
Please check out my other sites:
How To Deal With A Selfish Person
Handbook for Victorious Christian Living
Blueprint for Victorious Christian Living
Amazon Kindle Author Page
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