Archive for October 12th, 2022


Written by Trillia Newbell, a contemporary author. This is an excerpt from her article “Learning to Abide in Christ.”

Beginning in John 13, Jesus gives a series of farewell addresses… He knows that he will soon be lifeless on a tree — the crucified King. And in the middle of it all, he graciously reminds us that to be his means to bear fruit and we bear fruit by abiding in him. The dictionary defines abiding as to accept or act in accordance with a rule, decision, or recommendation. Synonyms include obey, observe, follow, uphold, heed, and accept. This definition isn’t far off from what Jesus is telling us to do in John 15. But before he gets to the meaning, he gives us a picture of what it looks like not to abide in him. “If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers, and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned” (John 15:6). I guess I am what you would call a plant killer. I purchase plants and try to care for them, but I often fail miserably. I forget to water the plant, choking it from its needed nourishment. And then one day, I turn around and there it is, withered away. This didn’t happen overnight. It happened after a series of neglect. So one by one, the branches fall off from the vine… He explains that by not abiding in him we are like my pitiful plants — we will soon fall off the vine — our roots where we receive nourishment were never truly planted. The fruit of the vine is proof of our faith. Not perfection — but fruit, even if a small bud. It really isn’t until John 15:10 that we get a picture of what it looks like to abide in Jesus. “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.” To abide in Jesus means to keep his commandments and to keep his commandments means to love God with all our hearts and souls and minds and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37–39). One way that we display our love for God is through our trust, prayer, and devotion to him. We abide through relationship. We pursue in love. We pray in love. We obey in love. And here is the good news: We love Jesus because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). We didn’t choose him; he chose us, and he chose us to walk out our faith in obedience to him (John 15:16). Apart from Christ, we cannot do anything (John 15:5). This is also good news to the weary person who thinks he must muster up strength to pursue and know Christ (and to love his neighbor — a fruit Jesus emphasizes). He provides the grace and the strength. The fruit that Jesus speaks of is simply evidence of a relationship with him. It is a relationship that he initiates through and by his sovereign love. In this chapter, Jesus reminds us that there is no greater love than someone laying down his life for his friends. He then says, “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:13). Jesus tells us that we are his friends (let that soak in for a minute) if we obey his command to love, and that command is fulfilled through abiding. As we abide in him, we will bear the fruit of righteousness. This does not add to our salvation by grace alone through faith alone, yet it confirms our transformed heart. And the offer to be Jesus’s friend — the author and perfecter of our faith, the Alpha and Omega, the Beautiful One, the one who bore our sins and transgression — the offer to be his friend is irresistible for the Christian. Abide in him, and he will abide in you. He who began a good work in you will complete it (Philippians 1:6). He who called you is faithful; he will surely do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24).


Written by Dawn Wilson, a contemporary author and is the  director of Heart Choices Today.

Dear Lord, Help me remember you are indeed Lord of my life. You have the right to rule all that I think, believe and do. When I allow my mind to run to places that destroy my peace, remind me that You do not want me to dwell on thoughts and emotions that contribute to unreasonable fears. I know my mind will remain in perfect peace as I fix my thoughts on you; so Lord Jesus, let your peace rule in my heart. Remind me of the peace I have in your family, and teach me how to be thankful for those circumstances that cause me to run to you, focus on you, and abide in you. I never need live with fearful, anxious thoughts. The truth is, you are in control! Amen.

Read Full Post »