John 15:5,7 ¶ “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
One of my favorite memories of my Bible school days is thinking about the view outside of our campus. We lived in the San Joaquin Valley and were literally surrounded by grape vineyards. I can remember coming outside of our home every morning and looking at the grape vineyards, often I would think about the various seasons the vineyard would go through, reminding me of the spiritual lessons of John 15. Actually, John 15 was the first passage that wore out in my Bible, I would look at it almost everyday during the time we lived at the school. “If you abide in me”, Jesus said. “I am the vine you are the branches”, these phrases describe the life of intimacy, fruitfulness, and answered prayer. Listen to what Charles Spurgeon said about this precious passage.
“Of necessity we must be in Christ to live unto Him, and we must abide in Him to be able to claim the largesse of this promise from Him. To abide in Jesus is never to quit Him for another love or another object, but to remain in living, loving, conscious, willing union with Him. The branch is not only ever near the stem but ever receiving life and fruitfulness from it. All true believers abide in Christ in a sense; but there is a higher meaning, and this we must know before we can gain unlimited power at the throne. “Ask what ye will” is for Enochs who walk with God, for Johns who lie in the LORD’s bosom, for those whose union with Christ leads to constant communion.”
As Spurgeon said, “we are ever receiving life and fruitfulness”. The Lord is giving us a glimpse, in this parable, at the fullness of life available to us in Christ. His description of the connection between the Christian and his Lord is quite enlightening. It is possible to be in a place of constantly receiving life from the Lord. This is not just a theory but a living reality. There is life flowing through the vine, the only question is, am I connected?
Practically speaking, how can I abide in Christ? First, spend time daily reading the scripture. Make a note of the verse or verses that stand out to you. Often, this is the Lord speaking into your life. Next, take personal time to worship and pray. You can start by reflecting on those special verses and then move into worship. As you spend more and more personal time reading your Bible and worshipping the Lord, you will become more aware of His nearness. When this begins to happen, you have begun your real life, His words are abiding in you and your prayers begin to take on new power.