This is a 6-week devotional series. Each Saturday, we will be posting a short and focused article. Read for a morning devotional by yourself or with a group! Discussion questions can be found at the end.
Do you ever sit and wonder what it means to truly abide in Christ? I have wondered that myself more times than I can count.
About a week ago, I reached for my Bible, hoping to find something to start off a good day. As I paged through John, I stumbled across John 15:1-8.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me.John 15:1-2, 4 (New King James Version)
As I read this passage, two amazing truths stood out to me.
- We must abide in Christ if we are to bear fruit and glorify God.
- God “prunes” or disciplines those who bear fruit.
What does it mean to abide in Christ?
The simple answer is this: prioritize your relationship with Him. Consume yourself with Scripture, humble yourself in prayer, bask in the glory of God and satisfy yourself in Him.
Those seem like basic Christian principles, but I will be the first to admit that my selfishness keeps me from abiding in Jesus.
Thankfully, God is greater than my selfish heart. He grants me the desire to live for him, not of my own strength, but of His.
If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom the belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.1 Peter 4:11 (emphasis added)
It is such a joy to know that it is God who supplies our ability to glorify Him; a never ending fountain of strength.
God disciplines those who abide in Him.
Discipline never seems like the best option in the moment. Yet, it ultimately makes us stronger.
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.Hebrew 12:11
The Lord will prune those who bear fruit. This can come in the form of tragedy, testing of patience, trials and even persecution.
But take heart! Those who abide in Christ, by the enabling of Almighty God, will withstand testing and have greater faith because of it.
- Have you ever felt disciplined by God? How did you respond?
- What is one way you can abide in Christ today?