Bible Ballistics: BBs #681 Abiding With Whom???
“I am the true vine,
and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me
that beareth not fruit
he taketh away:
and every branch
that beareth fruit,
he purgeth it,
that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean
through the word
which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me,
and I in you.
As the branch
cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine;
no more can ye,
except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine,
ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me,
and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:1-5
As I write this morning, I am sitting here listening to some great Southern Gospel music and it delights my heart to rehearse the times I have heard and sung many of these songs. In fact, the word I want to share with you this morning was triggered by and old song; and I pray that it will encourage our hearts to “Abide” in and with Jesus, who wants to “Abide” in and with YOU and me.
Just as Jesus spoke to the disciples in the passage above, He calls us to “Abide” with Him in all our ways; and He promises that if we will “Abide” IN Him we will bear fruit, and even as the Father prunes our lives, we will grow into fruitful branches. Are you a branch of Jesus’? Are you fighting the pruning this morning? Or are you ready to rejoice in the fact that Jesus is “the true vine” and we “are the branches”? Or are you trying to be your own “vine”?
It seems to me, that much of what proports to be ‘Christianity’ today is simply greed and selfish lust dressed up in church clothes! Jesus paints a different picture of HIS body—a body of commitment to HIM, abiding in HIM personally. Jesus IS the vine, not the church building, or its hierarchy, much less congregations who are clamoring for entertainment, comfort and prosperity! The church is The Body of Jesus Christ—branches who are abiding in The Vine! Paul told Timothy a hard truth—but none the less, truth—and not very popular today!
“Yea, and all that will live godly
in Christ Jesus
shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
As we spoke the other day, Jesus keeps HIS own, even in the trials and persecutions! The question is, “Are you HIS own?” It’s a question that only you can answer, but Jesus knows the answer, and there is a test!
the foundation of God
having this seal,
The Lord knoweth them
that are his.
And, Let every one
that nameth the name of Christ
depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19
Are you HIS? Are you abiding IN HIM? HE is ready to abide IN you! If you aren’t HIS, then I invite you to bow before my King Jesus, repent of your sin and ask HIM to forgive your sin; for that is why HE came as the substitutionary (in our place), atoning (making payment for our sin), sacrifice (HE died to BE that very payment for our sin), and He is still saving and changing lives today. In fact, He transformed me, and HE is ready to give you a new heart and life; or to revive your heart if you are His already!!! When we receive His life-changing grace, He enables us to walk in that transforming grace as we yield to HIS work in our lives through the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit—abiding IN HIM! Transformed—abiding—and bearing HIS fruit!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove
what is that good,
will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
And there’s an old song that I have been pondering lately, I pray that it will encourage your heart to pursue HIS abiding presence, for HE Has promised to be there for us, for it is HIS abiding IN us that prevails! Don’t give up—abide!
“Ye are of God, little children,
and have overcome them:
because greater is he that is in you,
than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Abide With Me By Henry Francis Lyte
“Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings;
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings:
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea;
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour:
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless:
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness:
Where is death’s sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.”
Amen and Amen!