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. (ESV)
What does it mean to “abide” in Christ?
My son loves to bring me blooms that he plucks off plants. He watches excitedly while I place the blossom in some water. But he’s always disappointed the next day. His face falls when I explain that the bloom cannot survive very long if it’s not connected to the rest of the plant. If we want the flower to have a long and beautiful life, it has to stay on the stem, so it’s connected to the roots.
That is what Jesus is explaining in this illustration. He says that because He is the vine and we are the branches, we have to abide in Him.
What does it mean to “abide”? The NIV translates it this way, “Remain in me…”. Remain. Stay put. Stay close. Don’t run off and go your own way. Stay connected to the vine!
More practically, accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Then, remain in the Word. Stay put in prayer. Abide in obedience. Do what He says. If you are abiding in Christ, you are walking through life in a close and intimate relationship with Him.
If you are in Christ, He is in you. The more time you spend in Him, the more the Holy Spirit will work in you. The more you’ll grow. The more fruit you will bear. But you cannot bear fruit by your own efforts.
In John 15:1-2, Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (NIV)
True believers are bearing fruit because they are abiding or remaining in a relationship with Christ. They will be “pruned” or disciplined so that their faith can be strengthened and they will produce even more fruit.
Abide in Christ. Remain connected to the true vine. And watch your life become beautifully fruitful.
Lord, I want to abide in you. Keep me connected to You so that the fruit of my life glorifies You. Amen.
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