Friday, May 15

Devotional: Abiding in Jesus

I want to do something we have not done at DevoLink before. I want us to meditate on the same passage of Scripture we did yesterday.

It is so important that we learn to love and trust Jesus that we will stay here one more day.

Were you able to abide with Jesus yesterday? Did you linger just a little longer over his word? Did you take some time to say a prayer? Did you think through the importance of what is at stake in this area of abiding?

Please pray for ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to you.

Read: John 15:1-11
1"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
2"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
3"You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
4"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.
5"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
6"If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
7"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
8"My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
9"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
10"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
11"These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may abide in you, and that your joy may be made full. (NASB)

Abide. The word abide (μένω menō) means to remain, to stay near, to remain in fellowship, to not depart, to stay longer. You might meno if you stay after small group for another hour to be with friends. You might meno if you stay an extra day on vacation (try that one on your boss or customers). You might meno if you meet with Jesus before you run out of the house.

You won’t meno with someone you do not trust. You probably won’t meno with someone you do not like. There is a relational factor to this.

Jesus says some very important things about abiding in Him (read with fear):
*We can’t produce fruit without him (v.4) Do you believe this? Really? He said we can do "nothing". Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nothing. Nothing of eternal value unless He is doing it THROUGH you.
*We will bear a lot of fruit with him (v.5)
*We will suffer loss and burning if we choose to not abide with Jesus (v.6). What exactly does this mean? Can someone lose their salvation? If not, can you support that opinion by Scripture?
*God will do super nature things THROUGH us when we hang out with him (v.7). This one bothered me today. Do I see God doing things only God can do?
*We abide in the love of Jesus when we obey him (v.9, 10). To obey him is to love others sacrificially (v.17).
*We experience maximum joy with him (v.11). Joy might be a good test to tell me if I am abiding in Jesus or not.

Go Deeper: This section is for the diehards. If you read yesterday's DevoLink you might want to take time to think through this today.
Meno appears in several different forms in John 15. All of them say something important.

*Meno Commands (v. 4, 9): Jesus orders his disciples to remain and abide in him.

*Meno Actions (v. 5, 10b): Reflects present and continuous action. We are to continually remain with Jesus.

*Meno Risks (v. 4b&c, 6, 7a&b, 11): These verses are in the mood of possibility. They may or may not happen based upon the actions we take. There is risk to this not happening but also possibility of fulfillment. These are “subjunctive” verbs. There is no English equivalent. Look at the verses above and see what is at risk. The whole Christian experience hangs in the balance on this one point! The risk of no fruit, eternity separated from God, missing the power of God working THROUGH us and missing fulfilling joy. All that is at risk in this little word, meno. Pretty staggering.

*Meno Future (v. 10a): We will abide in his love in heaven and forever. That is a great reward.

We cannot do the Christian life. Jesus wants to live his life THROUGH believers. We are not to push we are to abide, hang out. Branches do not eeek out fruit by effort. The branch abides and stays close to the vine.

Do a fruit inspection: how are things in your life? Do you see evidence of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control? Are these qualities yours and increasing? Would God say there is evidence of abiding in your life?

How do we remain, stay near, remain in fellowship, not depart and stay longer with Jesus? How do we abide in Him? Well, how do you do that in ANY relationship?

1. Spend time with him. Are you spending time in the word? Are you praying?

2. Spend time with his people. He is in other believers. We spend time in fellowship with other believers to be near Jesus. This should be the goal of our meetings together. Maybe it is ok to talk sports and weather and maybe not. Paul said, “I DETERMINED to know nothing among you but Christ and him crucified.” How would that change our meetings together? That level of expectation would be life changing. We’d see Jesus more.
3. Do what he says. As we draw near him we must do what he calls us to do. If you are abiding in him you WILL hear him and know it is his voice. When you hear him do what he says.

Abide in him!
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.