Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Abiding Life

Abiding with Jesus has a lot of benefits for now and eternity.


John 15:7-11  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

9  As the Father has loved me, so have I 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, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Today's scripture is a continuation of the study that I recently did in John 15:1-8, in those verses Jesus told his disciples "I Am The Vine." In that lesson Jesus taught the disciples that a real Christ follower is attached to the vine, he is getting his nourishment from the vine and he will be pruned so that he can produce more fruit. (John 15:2,5)

A vine and the branches is just one of the ways that the Bible describes the intimate relationship of a Christ follower. The Bible also illustrates this relationship as a body and its many members (1 Corinthians 12:1-31), a bride and the Bridegroom (Ephesians 5:25-33), and as sheep and the Shepherd (John 10:1-18)

These illustrations show us that abiding is a dependent relationship, the Christ follower must depend on Jesus as well as other believers in order to survive, yet it is still a friendly and intimate fellowship where we live and work together in harmony to please God and advance his kingdom.

The "abiding life" has many benefits, Jesus continues to tell us in today's scripture that abiding in him is the only way to get our prayers answered and it is the only way to live in love and obedience just like Jesus did.

The abiding life has prayers answered

Psalms 66:18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
Are your prayers being answered? Does it seem like nothing is happening? Whatever is asked for from a clean heart that is living for God's will and seeking to promote the kingdom is going to get answers.

When we are abiding in Jesus we will ask for the right things, he will keep us from asking for things that we shouldn't ask for, we will pray for the things that please God instead of the prayers that please ourselves. 

The abiding life will live in Jesus love 

Ephesians 3:17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong.
"What the world needs is love, sweet love, Its the only thing that there's just too little of" is the lyrics to a song by Dionne Warwick, she saw the problem but she did not know the solution, she didn't know that God's perfect love is what we need to end the love shortage that she saw.

If you feel unloved then check out what Jesus tells us in verse nine, he says that to the same degree that God loves Jesus is the amount of love Jesus has for me, you can't get loved any more that that. What an incredible thought, that stupid dirty sheep that are so unworthy can be loved so much!

The abiding life will obey God just as Jesus did

Luke 22:42 "Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine."
Jesus was obedient to his Father's will  and he expects us to do the same. There isn't any other way to prove your love to him than to see your old sinful ways as detestable and move toward doing the things that please God.

It is very dangerous to think that you can be a Christian and still live in your old sinful, disobedient ways. True repentance sees how detestable our ways are and the cost that was paid on our behalf and it refuses to live that way anymore. Without true repentance we cannot abide with Christ, we will not produce fruit and we will not please God.
Colossians 1:9-10  So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.  10  Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
The "abiding life" is not a supernatural resource that you tap into to fix life's problems and then return to your old carnal ways. Once you have begun to cultivate this deeper communion with Christ, you have no desire to return to the shallow life of the careless Christian, you will remain in Christ through the good and the bad times.

The "abiding life" seeks to glorify God, when people see the fruit of the Holy Spirit, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,” in us, God will be glorified. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Help me Lord to live the "abiding life." I want to know what pleases you and apply it to every area of my life.