Have you ever really thought about what it means to Abide in Him? We hear it in church but do we really understand how we can do this in our daily life? He’s in us and we’re in Him and it all sounds so wonderful but what does it really mean?
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
Jesus is the vine. We are nourished and given life through Him. God is the gardner that prunes the vine. Have you ever grown tomatoes? Well you know that you have to break off certain shoots so that the plant will be sturdy and if there are too many buds on the vine then all the tomatoes will be small but if you trim some of the buds back then the tomatoes will be big and strong because the vine will be nourishing only the buds that are left. The buds that are broken off and fall to the ground are worthless apart from the vine. They will not produce tomatoes. Pruning the tomato buds off the vine actually make the vine stronger and able to produce better fruit.
That’s how it is with God. Sometimes we can have so many vines out there that we aren’t really producing much fruit for the Lord. It may seem like we are doing lots of things but nothing is really producing. I have a crepe myrtle tree in my front yard and it really looks lanky. It has limbs protruding everywhere but when the time to bud comes it looks really bare and not very pretty. Sometimes that’s how are lives can be and we need to allow God to prune us so that instead of having many unmanageable limbs we will be bearing more fruit.
God does not put sickness or tragedy on us to prune us. But have you ever been in a place where it seems like doors are shutting and everything you do is not working. Pruning.. We need to get the distractions broken off so that our real roots and purpose in life can get watered and nourished by the vine. Things that we are trying to do in our own strength will not be nourished by the vine because we are severed from him like the broken off tomato buds. Jesus is the vine and we must stay connected to him or it won’t work out very well.
John 15:3 says “You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.”
We are pruned by the Word of God. Lets look in John 14.
John 14:6-11 NLT
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do
Jesus is telling us that He only does with the Father tells him. He is one with the Father. He abides in God and God abides in Him. How does Jesus apply this to his life? He only says and does the things that God shows Him to do. He wanted his outward witness of the things he did to get people to believe that He and the Father are one.
I’m married and my actions show people that I’m married to John. Most people when they see me ask me where John is because they expect to see us together. When people see John they ask him where I am. Our outward actions have shown and caused people to believe that we are together, that we are one. This is the way God intended for marriage to be.
In Mark 10:6-8 6 But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. 7 ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, 8 and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, 9 let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
This is how Jesus is with God. In John 10:30, Jesus says that He and the Father are I. When we see Jesus, we see the Father. They are one.
Jesus remained in Gods love. Jesus remained in Gods Word. Just as John and I remain in our love for each other as a married couple, We need to remain in the love and word of God and draw up nourishment from the vine. We remain in His love and abide in him so that when people see us and speak to us they know that we are in the Father and He is in us. We need to check our buds and gangly vines and get rid of things that are not really connected to the vine but diverting our attention away from our source, Jesus.