“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 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. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 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.
Read John 5:1-11
Memory verse: Remain in me, and I will remain in you John 14:4a.
Few months ago I was in a bible group discussion and a someone came up with a question asking ‘how possible is it for an individual to remain permanently in the presence of God’. There was a bit of silence on the question because it was a question which required some thinking time. Christianity gives the opportunity to start a relationship with God and interestingly a sudden physical effort emerges from when this decision is made, hence we see a newly converted or rededicated Christian physically going all out to adopt and apply what they assume to be the right beliefs and Christian behavior to their lives. This is a joyful thing but all these efforts could quickly vanish into thin air if the focus is not right. I say this because what we see in recent years are Christians who abide in their religious leaders instead of Christ alone.
The invitation and introduction into the family of Christ is usually done through an individual, also called a vessel. The person is used by and of God at the time of conversion or re-dedication to Gods own family and the acceptance of Jesus is an agreement of the new convert to abide in Christ alone. We focus becomes wrong when we rearrange those priorities and start concentrating solely on men pleasing and religious activities win place of centering on Jesus.
In today’s bible reading we see Jesus teaching His disciples; which includes you and I in todays world, about communion and He declared them purified and told them to “Remain” in Him. Remain or Abide is an active word. Abiding in Christ is not a belief or set down activity but something we are to continue doing daily through the help of the Holyspirit. This relationship is so personal to God that the instruction given to another individual may not be relevant to you and as such it makes it impossible to abide in Christ with a third party or individual being the consistent bridge; it has to be a personal connect with Him, one-to-one basis. Having accepted Jesus Christ and now believe in God as an individual choice, the Holyspirit is given us to help our focus and support us on the mission to daily abide in Christ.
But how do we actively abide in Christ daily?
Abiding daily in Christ is only possible if an individual decides to make it an intentional way of life and having done that it becomes impossible to say we don’t know if we abide in Christ or not; the evidence will be glaring. Abiding is a conscious decision consistently worked towards until it becomes a lifestyle. Once a decision has been reached, we then depend on the Holyspirit to help us Walk in faith, Study His Word and Intentionally act on His word.
The place of the Holyspirit in our life is active and he does all to help us to supernaturally do the things which we cannot achieve as human. We actively and intentionally spend time throughout the day reading the Scriptures, praying, showing love in community and standing against sin. We are able to do all these daily through the help of the Holyspirit and as these becomes our everyday life, we see ourselves actively declaring those words into our lives and they begin to renew and revive us, shape and sanctify us, fill and form us.
When we move from depending on ourselves to depending on the Holyspirit, we see our everyday life improve in all areas because we are connected to Him, dependent on Him and directed by Him.
- Father I thank you for being my creator and my true vine
- Let me abide in you O Lord for the rest of my existence
- Change my focus from pleasing men, help me to fully concentrate and put you at the center of my life.
- Forgive me of all my shortcomings O Lord and let your mercy prevail over judgement
- Thank you Lord for answers to prayers, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.