Abiding in Christ

Last Sunday, my pastor preached a wonderful sermon about abiding in Christ. You can probably guess the scripture:

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. 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.

John 15: 4,5

This great analogy from nature teaches us some important truths:

  • He is the vine, and I am a branch–among many other branches
  • The branch never produces the fruit; it simply bears it.
  • The fruit is to be shared for the enjoyment and benefit of others.
  • So, He is the channel for my growth and nourishment.
  • Cut a branch off the vine and it withers and dies. It has no power on its own.
  • Apart from Christ and His Spirit inside me, I don’t have a chance for meaningful growth.

    This leads us to the question: How do we abide in the vine–in Christ?

    My answers immediately raced to activities – prayer, Bible study, Church, ministry, small group meetings. These are all very wonderful and necessary for growth, but, unfortunately, it indicates that I’m often activity driven. When we describe others, we find ourselves saying, “he’s a task-driven person” or “she’s a people person.” One relishes the task and the other craves the relationship. Find a person who can do both well and you will have found a good friend, spouse, employee, or leader.

    So, to answer my question, I think we do the tasks–prayer, Bible reading, attend church, serve others–and at the same time cultivate our relationship with God and other believers. Let’s be obedient-oriented and people-oriented in all we do.

    Consequently, this will help us be strategic in what we do. An activity-driven person tends to get buried in his/her endeavors, goals, to-do lists. Think about the story of Mary and Martha. Sometimes we need to stop being busy, sit, and spend some time at the Master’s feet.

    Thank you God for your blessed relationship with me. Forgive me for sometimes forgetting you and ignoring you even in the things you’ve called me to do. Help me to always abide in You.

    How about you? What does abiding in Christ mean to you and how does that work out for you?

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    3 Responses to Abiding in Christ

    1. Chris Peek says:

      Scott, I would definitely classify myself as a task-oriented person. I thrive on working alone. However, God has also instilled in me a desire for deep, meaningful relationships. Abiding in Christ means He has called me to not only have relationship with Him, but to cultivate community with those around me. I’m by no means perfect and have failed a few times at building community, but I recognize it’s not enough for me to stay buried in my to-do list.

      • Thanks, Chris! I too am a task-driven person by default. I have to consciously push myself to build relationships and come out of my man cave. Based on your writings, though I believe you are very intentional and strategic about what you do, and it all goes towards building others up. What I fear are those who are simply satisfied with busyness or activities that show now results or serve no greater purpose. They settle for the activity rather than thinking about the end in mind or how it affects their relationships.

    2. Pingback: Abiding in Christ | A disciple's study

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