Monday, May 24, 2010

Abide in Him

John 15:5 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.

5 ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος, ὑμεῖς τὰ κλήματα. ὁ μένων ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ οὗτος φέρει καρπὸν πολύν, ὅτι χωρὶς ἐμοῦ οὐ δύνασθε ποιεῖν οὐδέν.

It's very difficult to isolate just one verse from this chapter.  It has been a very powerful influence on my life, but I'm afraid that I am just now starting to understand it.  Here Jesus uses some imagery that would have been very potent to folks in that time.  He compares us to branches on a vine.  Anyone who has done anything with plants can certainly relate to this.  We have a couple of bushes that grow like crazy in the summertime.  I prune them frequently as they tend to get overgrown.  No matter how lush the branches are they wither and die once they are cut off from the main bush.  So it is with Christians.

The reason that I feel like I am just now starting to get this is because I think I have used obedience as a substitute for abiding.  Certainly that is part of it as the surrounding verses show (look it up).  But merely reading the Bible, attending church, keeping my nose clean, etc is not enough.  I must truly abide in Him.

I have lost sight of this as of late.  It's easy for me to be distracted by the cares of life and the temptations of the world.  I find myself clicking on links that I know will lead me towards danger and then run away after I "stumble" upon something I shouldn't see.  I eat more than I need.  I dutifully read my Bible every day, but I do not necessarily abide in Him.

My exhortation to everyone starting with me is that we need to take this passage seriously.  We need to abide in Him.  Don't just know about Him, know Him!  Abide in Him.  Be someone who ὁ μένων.  That is a present active participle.  Be in a continual state of remaining or abiding in Him.  That is where we find life.

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