“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4
I am 100% percent dependent on the Vine Jesus to bear spiritual fruit in my life. This would seem to be the fruit of the Holy Spirit who brings to me the presence of the Messiah Jesus in me.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25
So what does it mean to abide, remain, or sojourn in the Vine Jesus? The Lord Jesus provides us with a bit more insight in these words:
“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” John 6:56
In the context of John 6, the eating and drinking of the flesh and blood of the Messiah Jesus is to believe in HIM as the Messiah, the incarnate Word, and Son of God.
“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’” John 6:29
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.” John 6:47
Now part of my practice as a believer is to receive, because of my faith, the communion or Lord’s Supper as a way of remembering and participating in the act of salvation that Jesus accomplished by dying for my sin. So the connection between the eating and drinking and remaining in the VINE Jesus by faith can be seen. Part of my abiding in Jesus takes place in my worship of HIM both in private and with others.
So I abide, dwell, and sojourn in the Vine Jesus as I have a relationship of trust in HIM to be my Lord, Savior, Prophet, Priest, and King. This means that I do not turn away from HIS word or teachings and that I actively focus my faith, trust, gratitude, and loyalty on HIM as my one source of life and love. Remaining in HIM would normally mean that I am connected to HIS body, the Church, through participating in loving relationship with other believers and engage in worship with them.
Part of what it means to abide can be seen in the story of Martha and Mary.
“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:38-42
So spending time with the LORD Jesus, resting before HIM, and paying close attention to HIS word is part of the way we abide with HIM and HIS life flows through us bearing the fruit of love (John 15:3). Like Martha, I can become busy with many good things that I think will serve the LORD Jesus but then fail to simply be with HIM to listen to HIM.
Jesus is telling me that living a life of love, good works, self-denial, and mercy is just a natural process. Such a life is as easy and normal as a branch bearing abundant fruit who are attached to a vine. A life of love is the result of having a relationship of living faith with the VINE Jesus by dwelling in HIS words, worshipping HIM, and focusing on HIS suffering for my sins to give me forgiveness and eternal life.
Prayers of faith through and to Jesus would be part of this abiding. The reality is that I do abide in the VINE Jesus and HE abides with me, but I need to get in touch with this reality in my experience to fully benefit from that gift that HE has given me and to practically bear the fruit of obedient love.
All my effectiveness as a disciple of the Messiah Jesus depends on my abiding, remaining, and sojourning with HIM. My success as a follower of Messiah Jesus depends totally on abiding in HIM. This is the most critical reality to experience in my life.
Great Savior, Lord, Prophet, Priest, and King Jesus; teach me how to experience and benefit from abiding in YOU. Let me see that without YOU I can do nothing of any worth. So good LORD, who fully understands what it means to abide, please let me become a fruitful branch attached to YOU. I am weak and easily distracted with many things like Martha. Give me the heart of Mary that day when she sat at your feet listening to YOUR words. Please bear your fruit of obedient love through me this day. Without YOU LORD Jesus I can do nothing of any worth this day. Bear YOUR fruit through me. Amen