21-Day Challenge: Day 15

Passage

John 15:5-10
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also 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.”

Commentary & Questions

a·bide
–verb (used without object)
1. to remain; continue; stay
2. to have one’s abode; dwell; reside
3. to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship, etc.; last.

Take a moment to reread those six verses and really think about what they are saying. This is Jesus speaking, using such a simple analogy to explain how amazing God’s design for our lives is. I’ve shared the definition of “abide” because it’s not a word we commonly use anymore, but the understanding of what it means is absolutely vital to understanding the power of this verse.

Reread the passage one more time from The Message Bible translation:

I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.

Jesus promises us in the verse that if we abide in him and in his love we will bear much fruit. What does fruit look like in our lives as believers? (Galatians 5:22-23)

I love how The Message Bible describes the relationship between God and his disciples as intimate and organic. We were created to be in this completely dependent relationship with him, and when we are in that place, we grow and thrive.  On the other hand, if we, as branches, are separated from our Heavenly Father, the vine, we will dry up and become worthless for anything other than burning in a fire. Have you had an experience in your walk with Christ where you cut yourself off from the life-giving vine and experienced a period of drying up?

There are many amazing things that happen in the life of a believer who is abiding in Christ. We’ve already talked a little bit about fruit, but these verses promise so much more. What are some of the other things we see as a result of that relationship?

What are some practical ways that you can abide in Christ today? Don’t forget that abiding is a verb and that it means to stay with, live in and continue in relationship with. It’s an action that is made continually, without ceasing.

Prayer

God, thank you for your consistency. We know that when you promise things to us in your word, they are promises we as believers can cling to because you will not change. Thank you for desiring a relationship with us. For being the vine from which we can gain nutrients and life-giving substance. God, there is no greater call on our lives than to abide in you. Apart from you we can do nothing. Nothing Lord. And yet, when we attach our lives to you we can grow fruit. Let us be a body of believers that is fruitful Lord. Let our dependence on you be what makes us great. Help us to mature in you and keep your commands. Thanks for the example Jesus set for us in Scripture. We truly love you God and desire to make our home in you. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

With the love of Christ in my heart, I pray these verses for you all.

Devotional Author: Kelsey McDowell

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