Abiding in Christ
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 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. —
John 8:30 reports,“As he was saying these things, many believed in him.” So, Jesus is like, “You’re all in? Well, great!” Jesus was seeing all these people raising their hands and walking to the front. Somebody was singing, “Just As I Am,” and they’re all signing commitment cards. Jesus was like, “This is a wholesale response. Look at the hundreds of people coming here.” So He said, “Yeah! Well, how about this?” “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31). In other words: Time will tell. Maybe you’re wheat; maybe you’re tares. At the end of the day, the proof is going to be this: Do you abide in My Word?
The word abide means to remainor to continue. Are you remaining and continuing in God’s Word? Salvation happens at a moment in time, but it’s demonstrated over time. Got it?
“Abiding” involves continuing in Jesus’ words and what God’s Word has revealed about Him: that He is God; that He’s our Substitute; that He’s the only Hope of Salvation; that He’s Lord; that He’s the purpose for life itself. That all that really matters in this world is to live and serve Jesus Christ. If there’s a growing pattern of that in your life, you are His disciple indeed.
I’ve been following Jesus Christ—I professed my faith in Christ when I was seven years old—for forty years. Am I pursuing the truth? And is the truth setting me free? Am I abiding in Jesus’ words and proving to be His disciple?
When I was a young pastor, there was a lot I didn’t get about what’s really on the line here. Now, I realize the Lord’s making me more loving, giving me a heart for the people in our church and their true spiritual condition. God has graciously pushed me toward grace.
At the same time, God has increased my passion for His truth. I’m less interested in the opinions or reactions of others. I want to speak it lovingly, but I just want to speak the truth. I’m not particularly burdened that you might get rattled about whether you’re saved or not. I want you to get rattled about whether you’re saved or not. So, are you abiding in Christ? —James MacDonald
· What aspects of my life right now demonstrate that I am abiding in Christ?
· Where can I take abiding up a notch?
Father, You have reminded me that our relationship goes two ways—You abide in me and I abide in You. Continue, Lord, to develop the fruit in my life that demonstrates Your indwelling power. Deepen my reliance on You by leading me into increased expressions of Your Word applied in and to my life. Thank You for abiding in me, Lord Jesus. In Your strong name I pray, Amen.