Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Abiding In The Vine

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
~ John 15:5-11


Abiding in the Vine in order to bear fruit means continuing in Jesus in order to accomplish His will here on earth. In practical terms, how do I do that?

When I asked myself that question, I was reminded of the fundraiser for the Valley Pregnancy Center just a few weeks ago. When I arrived at church, I took the baby bottle, put in a $20 bill and gave it back right away that same morning. The next day, God told me that I had clearly missed the point. Now, I don't hear God's voice audibly, but I suddenly realized what God wanted. The point, I believe now, was that each time I dropped in my change, I would be reminded of why I was doing it and who it was for. And each time I could have prayed, even just a small prayer, for the people involved: the young woman with the crisis pregnancy, the unborn child of God, and the young man whose life was also changed.

Truly I was not abiding in Jesus. I was going through the motions of being a good Christian, doing my obligation, but not bearing fruit for Jesus. I was checking it off my to-do list. I was doing it for me. Talk about a dead branch! I was missing the peace of knowing that I was obeying God, being closer to God, thinking about Him, opening myself up to what He wants me to do. I was missing the blessing of caring about other people, and they were missing the blessings of being prayed for.

Abiding requires asking Jesus, "What do I do next?" It requires that we listen for His answer. Don't just ask the question, automatically rely on Him. Jesus wants to be fully in our lives, to the point where we don't have to remind ourselves that it is natural to think of Him first. Abiding means that Jesus moves in and takes up residence.

He wants us to love him. He wants us to do his will. And doing that brings joy, not only to us but to everyone we touch and, most of all, to Him.


1. Pray through your to-do list, asking Jesus for guidance.
2. Then watch and listen throughout the day for the Lord's response and the blessings of bearing fruit for Him.

About the Author

Bobi Vieira and husband, Bob, have been attending Canyon Creek Church for 13 years. They have two grown children, Liane and Andrea. Bobi has been a volunteer for Gospel for Asia, working mission events in Northern California for the past five years.

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