The word is mentioned 10x in these 11 verses. Evidently it is a key word in this passage. It is an awesome Biblical word and a great concept to understand and practice.
Why wouldn’t any believer want to know how to abide in Christ when they understand the results of abiding?
- Verse 5 – Abiders bear much fruit!
- Verse 7 – Abiders have their prayers answered
- Verse 8 – Abiders bring glory to the Father!
- Verse 11 – Abiders are joy-filled!
Shouldn’t all believers aspire to those 4 things? So let’s ask two questions as we ponder this passage:
1) What does it mean to abide? Jesus uses the illustration of a vine and a branch. As long as a branch is connected to the vine and drawing it’s nourishment from the vine then it will produce fruit. So abiding has to do with commitment, connection, and clinging fiercely to the vine. Jesus identifies Himself as the True Vine so when we are committed, connected, and clinging to Him we are abiding. But when he says He is the True Vine He implies that there are a lot of false vines that often capture our attention and allegiance. When this happens our souls are nourished not by Jesus but by other things – which prevents an abiding relationship with Jesus.
2) How do we abide? Jesus gives us two specific ways in this passage that answer this question. Verse 7 says, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you…” So a key to abiding is to make God’s Word a priority in our lives. Read the Word. Ponder the Word. Memorize the Word. Study the Word. Listen to the preaching of the Word. Sing the Word. Talk about the Word with others. Pray the Word. Obey the Word. Being a man or a woman of the Word will go a long way toward fostering an abiding relationship with Jesus. Secondly, verse 9 says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” Never forget that it was Jesus’ love that compelled Him to go to the cross. Think often about the cross. Think often about how our Savior suffered so that we would not have to suffer the consequences of our own sin. Think often about how you were once far from God but have now been brought near… because of the incredulous love of Jesus. Let it daily wash over you and refresh you. Abide in His love.
May this brick encourage you to do whatever it takes to become an abider so that you can indeed bear much fruit, have your prayers answered, glorify the father, and experience His unspeakable joy.