Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, May 9, 2017
“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. 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 15:4–5).
Abide. That is your word for today. If you wish to live eternally, abide with eternal God, daily. Seems simple enough, right?
What does it mean to abide? If you were to abide at a certain location until a man of a certain description hands you a check for one million dollars, assuming it’s all legal, ethical, and moral, how would your act of abiding look? How would you behave when you got tired? How would you deal with distractions? What would happen when people tried to convince you that you were in the wrong location? How would any other outlier impact your state of abiding…until you received your check? What if that check would pay for a critical surgery for you because insurance will not cover it? What if your family home is in foreclosure? How would that impact your staying power as you abide?
Unlike my contrived example, there is more than temporal stuff at stake here. If we abide in Christ, we will bear fruit. What fruit? I am so glad you asked. When we abide in union with Christ, we begin to bear the fruit of righteousness. Evil thoughts and tendencies no longer dominate those who’ve learned to abide in Christ. Further, our willingness to do so gives permission to Christ to dwell within us! From this constant state of abiding springs the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, and its manifestations, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Galatians 5:22–23).
Let me share 11 verses with you that show abiding behavior:
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:1–11).
If you treasure a vital bond with Christ as more precious than even temporal wealth, ask the Lord to help you exercise valiant effort and staying power to receive the reward for the peaceable fruits of righteousness—eternity with God.