Abide in His Love
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”.
John 15:8-9 ESV
From the beginning God created the land to produce (Gen. 1:11). After God created the first man and woman He commanded, “Be fruitful and increase in number…” (Gen.1:28). We see from the beginning, it is part of God’s nature to give life, and it is our calling to be a part of bearing fruit in His kingdom.
In John 15, our relationship with Jesus is symbolized through nature. Jesus is the life and sustaining power as the vine and we are the fruitful branches that could not exist let alone produce goodness without Him.
We see that as branches we are also pruned by the Gardener; the Father. Every branch (disciple of Jesus) that bears fruit (what is nourishing, good, pure, and sustaining) will be pruned (intentionally trimmed away for good purpose) in order to bear more fruit (v. 1-2). As we become more like Christ there will be seasons of pruning so that we can continue to be sanctified and hold the weight of more and more fruit.
The command of remaining also implies a choice. Abiding in the Lord is to be obedient to Him. To accept His way in your life and to continue to follow Him. To remain in His presence; the position you were always meant for. It is turning away from any other source and saying to Him, “I choose You, Lord, 100%”.
Abide is meno in Greek, which means to stay, to remain, live, dwell; to be in a state that begins and continues, that may or may not end or stop. Remain is to continue to exist, especially after other similar or related people/things have ceased to exist. To endure, last, abide, carry on, persist, stay, prevail, survive. Wait. What is the opposite of remaining?: Abandon, avoid, depart, forfeit, move, proceed, reject, resist, or shun.
“Bearing much fruit” is stated several times throughout these passages. Fruit here is kapros and literally means fruit, offspring, and figuratively the results of physical, mental, or spiritual action.
The Greek word for love here is agape. This kind of volitional and self-sacrificial love represents affection or benevolence, and also a love feast or feast of charity.
To abide in Him requires that you know Him. How do you know Him? When are you most aware of Him; your Vine? (Remember, feelings are only one of the many ways He speaks to us.)
Read through John 15:1-17. What is Jesus saying about his relationship with you? Are there other commands and principles to follow? What questions do you have- write them down and study them one at a time.
Meditation & Reflection:
'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 15:4-5
Think about your favorite flowering or fruit-bearing plant. What has the flower or fruit done to blossom or rippen? Has it strived tirelessly to prove itself to the stem that provides it nutrients and support? As I hope you realize, the flower/fruit is completely dependent on the stem for its life. The aroma, seed, nutrients, beauty and so on are produced because the flower/fruit remained connected to the stem.
Meditate on how this parallel directly relates to your life and relationship with Christ. If able, take a walk and meditate on the plant-life around you. Ask the Holy Spirit to heighten your imagination and deepen your understanding of abiding in Christ’s presence.
Bethel Church “Abide and Listen” by Bill Johnson [March 25, 2018]
The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
Francis Chan - “The True Vine” podcast. Oxygen conference 2014
Abide by Housefires (feat. Nate Moore)