John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
This morning’s reading reminds me of the necessity of full dependence on Christ. As a branch can do nothing of value apart from the vine, so we can do nothing of eternal value apart from being connected to Christ. The word abide has to do with residence. It’s not a one time, check in by 2:00 and out by 12:00 kind of thing. It’s a constant, continual living and communing and residing with Christ, and vice versa. For, when we do, two great things happen: We’ll bear much fruit, and the Father will be glorified (our good and God’s glory!).
Of course, “abiding in Christ” and “abide in my love” are not just feel good phrases. There are three principles He gives that must go along abiding in Christ. First, is that His words must abide in us. We must get into the word. But further, we must allow His Word to get into our hearts and souls. But we can’t stop there. We must then “keep His commandments”. We must follow what the Word says. Head knowledge isn’t enough – it’s a heart knowledge that leads to actions that He is looking for in us. And then, once we have this, we’ll realize that the commandments – His words – push us to “continue in love”. If we follow the true spirit of His commands, and practice abiding in Him, it must be in accord with His spirit of love for the Father and love for others. These three things will help us to abide in Christ, and in turn, to have Him to abide in us.