Thursday, October 20, 2011

Abiding Fruit - Remaining in the Vine

Week 2 of the "Abiding Fruit" Bible Study (from had us read the following passage:

John 15:1-10

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
   5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
   9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love."

This passage in the Bible is the source of EVERYTHING we need.  If we are the branches and Jesus is the vine, then we need to STAY connected to Jesus to obtain EVERYTHING we need (and want).  And yes, including what we want, for Jesus also told us "to ask for anything using His name and He would do it to bring glory to the Father".  And yes, that means asking for things that line up with His Will, otherwise we are asking Him to do things that will NOT bring glory to the Father.

The most important factor in our walk with Jesus Christ is to abide in Him.  The more we abide in Him, the more we will have peace, victory over sin, and be IN HIS STEPS.

I don't know about you, but I WANT to be "in His steps".  I want to walk the path that He has destined for me.  I want to be on the course that leads to everlasting life, joy, peace, and love! And the only way I can do that is by remaining in Him.

Personally, I truly believe if we looked up the word "abide", you would find that the above passage has a deeper meaning:

1. to remain; continue; stay
2. to have one's abode; dwell; reside
3. to continue in a particular conditions, attitude, relationship; last
4. to put up with; tolerate; stand
5. to endure; sustain; or withstand without yielding or submitting
6. to wait for; await
7. to accept without opposition or question
8. to pay the price or penalty of; suffer for

To abide has to do with the concept of "being" not "doing".  We still are doing the things that God has called us to, but we are doing it in His strength and resting in Him to know that He is taking care of everything.  Picture it like this...

A newborn rests in her mother's left arm while the mom goes about pouring the coffee, pulling out the breakfast plates, putting breakfast on the table, answering the phone, taking messages, etc... and all the while here is this precious baby "sleeping" in her arms while the CHAOS of life is going on around her.

If ONLY we could learn to climb up in our Heavenly Father's arm and REST! Knowing that He is taking care of the CHAOS that life brings on a daily basis. 

Abiding in Christ is about having an intimate relationship with Him.  The relationship is more important than the things we do or don't do.  The more we are abiding in Him, the more we will be faithful.  We will hear His voice clearer, not be works oriented, and have more peace in our life.

Picture intimacy as this: IN TO ME YOU SEE

To abide is to experience His presence! I LOVE to get into the presence of the Lord.  After reading the book, "Threshing Floor" by Juanita Bynum, I DESIRE to go to the threshing floor with My Prince, Jesus! I want to dine with Him! I want to feel His feathers cover me and shelter me with His wings, like it says in Psalm 91:4.

How do you get into His presence? I quiet myself and listen for that still voice.  I pray out loud, despite the chaos of the home - for when I do this, my child stops screaming and starts to listen, my husband's anger melts and peace enters my home.  I put on worship music and I dance! I LOVE to dance and music to me is the heartbeat of God!  How do you get into His presence? No way is the wrong way!

These are the key things I took away from this weeks study:
  • Eternally connected
  • Everything I need is given to me in the time of need
  • Let Him take control
  • Source of Life

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