The passage of Scripture I am journaling through today is John 15:1-17 (ESV) … you might call this Jesus’ treatise on abiding … check it out and join in and share your insights …
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
Jesus is the true vine (which implies there are false vines we should be aware of) and God the Father is the vinedresser … the gardener.
Every branch IN me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Believers are the branches IN the true vine … every branch that does not bear fruit the Father takes away … those branches that bear fruit are pruned by the Father that they might bear even more fruit.
Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
Just as the vinedresser cleans the branches so we as branches have been cleaned by the spoken word of Jesus!
Abide IN me, and I IN you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides IN the vine, neither can you, unless you abide IN me.
The branch must abide IN the true vine and the true vine must abide in the branch … a branch cannot bear fruit apart from the vine … and neither can we.
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.
Repetition is the best teacher … apart from the true vine Jesus the believer or branch can do nothing … interconnected with that true vine the branch will bear much fruit.
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.
An extremely powerful warning for those who choose not to abide in the true vine … withers, thrown away, gathered, burned!
If you abide IN me, and my words abide IN you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Not only are we called to abide IN Jesus but His words are to abide IN us … that we may know God’s will, pray according to His will, and His will be done.
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
Bearing fruit proves we are disciples of Jesus and glorifies God the Father.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide IN my love.
The love relationship between the Father and the Son modeled the relationship between the Son and His followers. Just as Jesus abided IN the Father’s love, so we are to abide IN the love of the Son.
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.
Once again Jesus is instructing us into a relationship with Him that is like the relationship He has with the Father … keeping His commandments is evidence of abiding IN His love.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be IN you, and that your joy may be full.
That His Joy may be IN us and that our joy may be full!
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Perhaps the new greatest commandment … love one another as Jesus has loved you … this is not accomplished based on our motives or in our own strength … this is based on the mutually indwelling presence of Christ … you IN Christ, Christ IN you, His words IN you, abiding IN His love … we love one another as Jesus has loved us when Jesus love is IN us and it overflows into His loving through us!
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Greater love, indeed!
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
Abide … abide … abide …
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
The mystery has been revealed … Christ IN you … the hope of glory … now brethren and friends of the Son!
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Remember … we did not choose Jesus … Jesus chose us … that we should go, bear fruit, and pray!
These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
The purpose in all these teachings – that you will love one another!
I am overwhelmed by the teaching in this passage Lord – thank you!