There are instructions and promises to be found in John 15:1-11. Let’s read it together:
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 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. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
Here is the point I wish to make today, “if you want to bear fruit, the call to abide is not optional, it’s instructed.” John 15:4 reads, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” Abiding in Christ as a disciple was never optional, it was instructed. Abiding in Christ is remaining in God’s love, keeping His commands and bearing much fruit. Abiding in Christ postures us to walk in the Holy Spirit and His ability to produce fruit.
“if you want to bear fruit, the call to abide is not optional, it’s instructed.”
Abiding is deliberate. Here are three ways to abide in Christ.
- Embrace God’s pruning (verse 1-6): Pruning happens for two reasons. One, pruning removes dead limbs (works, un-belief, doubt, attitudes, habits…) and two, pruning rewards fruitfulness with greater fruitfulness. If you sense that God is pruning your life, thank Him in prayer and allow the Holy Spirit to prune and bear much fruit in you!
- Pray bold prayers (verse 7-8): Prayer takes time. Give yourself daily to secret prayer. Secret prayer is time alone with God, learning and listening to Him. Your prayer time should be short enough to be manageable and long enough to be meaningful. God loves to miraculously answer prayer and provide for our needs.
- Keep the commands of Jesus (verse 9-11): Allow the words of Jesus (by His Word and Spirit) to deeply root themselves in your being, causing a transformation in your life. Stay in the love of God by reading, seeking, praying and memorizing the commands of Jesus revealed in scripture. Obey them and let the Holy Spirit empower you to live as a fruitful disciple of Jesus.
If the ministry of Youth for Christ is to be effective in your country, you must be firmly rooted and abiding in Christ. This is not optional.
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