In John 15, Jesus gave us a beautiful visual of what it looks like to be a follower of him using fruit as the analogy. He painted this tasty picture so that his disciples would understand the significance of being a committed follower.
Today, we KNOW what it means to be a Christian, but we sometimes beat ourselves up because we ‘feel’ like we aren’t doing enough to live a life fully committed to Christ. We tend to take too much of the burden on ourselves ‘trying’ and, why would ‘trying’ work out? There’s no place in this passage that Christ tells us to “TRY” or “WORK HARDER.” Instead, he says:
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. ~John 15:5
Do you see the word ‘try’ anywhere? No. We see the word:
It is used 11 times in 17 verses—so I’m thinking that Jesus was making a HUGE point that we are to ABIDE in Him.
Stay, Dwell, Remain.
What are the results of ABIDING in him?
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. ~John 15:9
We are loved! WOW! Just sit on that for a few seconds.
YOU are loved.
As God loves his Son, so the Son loves YOU! And he doesn’t just LOVE you but he wants you to ABIDE in His love.
Soak in that love!
And, the more you stay right there in that love, the more LOVE you will have to pour into others.
What God is showing me in my own life is that ABIDING in him means just that. It’s not ‘trying’ or ‘working harder’ or ‘acting more Christian’ or speaking ‘Christianese.’ Those things are just things in my own strength to make me feel good.
ABIDING in Jesus doesn’t require effort on our part other than placing our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. It is after we have made that commitment of faith that we are infused by the Holy Spirit.
My life song is one by the band, For King and Country titled “Proof of Your Love,” The lyrics of the chorus say: “Let my life be the proof; the proof of your love. Let my love look like you and what your made of…Love is sacrifice.” That song is one that I first heard on a late night show before the band was well known, and the words penetrated my prickly heart and shifted me into a place of understanding how only by ABIDING in Christ’s love, can I LOVE others unselfishly and be a committed fruit-bearer.
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. These things I command you, so that you will love one another. ~ John 15:16-17
Bearing fruit begins at ABIDING in Christ.