John chapter 15, verses 4 through 7, read “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. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Everything we are and everything that we will accomplish depends on our abiding in Christ. Jesus just told us, “without Me you can do nothing”. As we begin 2013, we are reminded as we look around us how quickly things can change. In a matter of moments, the lives of children that are healthy and happy can be snatched away at the hands of an angry man. Literally overnight, financial stability can be swept from under your feet. This world is reeling, out of control, due to the pressure of sin for so long. Here in John 15, Jesus makes it very clear: unless we are abiding in Him, we cannot live.
To abide in Christ means: 1) to keep God’s Word continually before our minds and make it our guide; 2) to maintain the habit of constant communion or fellowship with Jesus; and 3) to obey His commandments–abide in His love. Abiding is a willful action; it’s not simply existing. Jesus said if we do not abide in Him, we will wither and be cast into the fire. This means we are of no use. Jesus is the vine and any attempt we make to live outside of that connection to Him completely, we lose all source of nourishment. The Father’s will cannot be accomplished in us and we remove ourselves from a place to pray boldly and ask according to His will.
I challenge us all in this year to make a daily point to remind ourselves–we can do nothing outside of Christ. There is no fruit at all beyond the Vine, Jesus Christ.