Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.
I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5 (Amplified Bible).
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Jesus gave us the key to knowing the Father, through relationship with Him (John 14:6). He gave us the key to eternal life, repentance and faith in Him. He gave us the key to victorious life from sin, the deposit of His Holy Spirit. He also gave us the key to fruitful living, abiding in Him.
One set of my life verses are found in John 15. Intimacy with God produces fruit. The remaining, union, connection, covenant, and relationship with God produces the fruit of His likeness and divine revelation.
Have you ever noticed that best friends and especially married couples will begin to know each other so well that they can finish the other’s sentences or they begin to act in similar ways.
Intimacy (abiding) produces oneness.
God created every human being with the desire to be known and unconditionally loved. He created humans to require intimacy. He’s the only One who can fulfill this need without any flaws, perversion, or creating codependency.
When we are disconnected (not abiding) in God we are relying on our own strength, power, intellect, wisdom, and resources. Or we are relying on someone else’s. Both will fail. Human wisdom is not perfect. Humans are not perfect-infallible. According to Romans 3:23 all (but Jesus) have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
I’ve heard many people state Christians don’t behave like Jesus. Is this because they aren’t saved? I can say the following.
Sanctification (becoming like Jesus) is a process. The Holy Spirit works in us to reveal righteousness, the person of Jesus, to teach, equip, comfort, love, and empower. It’s a journey. Just as a baby learns and grows over time, so do we. Spiritual growth is a process. We learn. We make mistakes. We grow. We rely on God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
Christlikeness or bearing fruit results from connection to God. His Holy Spirit produces fruit. If you don’t have the Holy Spirit, there’s no Source to draw from. If you do have the Holy Spirit, you have the ability to quench or grieve Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19 and Ephesians 4:30).
God is in control in the sense nothing happens without Him knowing. He’s Sovereign. God did not make humans robots. He will not force us to obey Him, spend time with Him, love Him, love others, do what’s right, or anything else. We can say no to God. Adam and Eve are prime examples of our ability to choose what’s wrong. We can be believers who choose to sin. Yet those who choose to live independent of Him will face consequences for their actions.
Abiding is about relationship. Jesus repeated Himself: Abide in Me! Remain in Me! Stay connected to Me! We cannot abide or remain in someone we do not talk to unless it’s Sunday morning, or in times of trouble, or when we need something.
Relationships are built on quality time, communication, mutual investment, love, commitment, appreciation, and with God (doing what He asks). He said our love for Him is manifested through obedience.
Note: Many have used the word legalism to promote lawlessness. Legalism is trying to obtain righteousness or God’s love through rule keeping. Obedience to God is an act of love. We don’t obey to gain favor, love, or righteousness. Righteousness comes by faith. Favor and love are gifts from God. Obedience is a fruit of our love for Him.
So how do we abide?
1. Salvation. If you are not saved (in relationship with God through repentance and faith) you cannot abide in Him. No one comes to the Father unless they come through the Son.
2. Make God the highest priority. This doesn’t necessarily mean lock yourself on a room with a Bible 24/7. It means God is invited to be the central focus of life.
3. Cultivate relationship. Think of God as the closest family member. Talk to Him. Listen. Spend time with Him. Get to know Him. Rely on Him. Be with Him. Thank Him. Focus on Him. Worship (love, adore) Him. Ask Him to deepen your awareness of His Presence. Meditate on His word and goodness. Invite the Holy Spirit to help you.
I’m a list person, yet my relationship with God isn’t a formula. He’s my best friend. I wake up thinking about Him. I spend the day talking and listening to Him. I end the day with Him. He’s the closest to me. I take time to steal away with Him. In trouble, I look to Him. In good times, I look to Him. He has my attention and focus.
Sweet friends, there’s always more with God. God invites us into the secret places of His heart. He unites us to Himself. He doesn’t need us. He wants us. The Creator of the Universe and galaxies calls us by name. He wants to know us and be with us. He doesn’t need anything. Even the angels worship around His throne. Yet He delights in our love for Him.
May we grow in intimacy with God! He loves and adores us.
You’re continually in my thoughts and prayers.
In Jesus powerful name, amen.
Love in Christ,