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October 3, 2012

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5, NLT)

Abide. This was the theme of the recent D6 Conference. Abide in Christ. What a great topic. Over the course of the event, I made not of a few specific nuggets from the various speakers. I want to spend the next few weeks interacting with these thoughts.

Pete Wilson made this remark:

Our primary ministry responsibility is to abide—remain. Why do we focus on so much else? If you abide, fruit will come.

I realize this is true. That is what Jesus said in John 15. I don’t think anyone would argue with that.

I think the big question is: What does it mean to abide? What does that look like?

Abide or remain sounds passive. Abide. Remain. Stay. Don’t move. Don’t leave. Is it really passive? While it sounds like it, my gut (and the preponderance of scripture) says that as a believer, I have responsibilities. Don’t I?

This is a passage I don’t really like to think much about because I don’t know what to do with it. How do I simply remain?

Please share your thought below. I will be returning to this theme as I work through some of my thoughts from the conference. Thanks.

One Comment
  1. I am a big fan of Andrew Murray, and the book I have been chewing on is Abide In Christ. In my soaking time I got a visualization of sorts, a parallel thought to help explain one aspect of abiding. When our children were young and lived under our roof, we provided everything they needed, and some of what they wanted (considering if it was wise and affordable). We took care of them and they trusted us for their provisions, materially and emotionally. We were in control of what they did and when. As they grew and matured, they learned to do and acquire for themselves. Now that they are grown, out of our house, and do what they please. We still provide love and solicited advice. It’s all part of the flesh relationship. But the spiritual (the Godly) relationship is opposite. As we mature spiritually we become more dependent on God and less self sufficient. We let Him provide all we need and guide us totally, when we become spiritually mature.
    Here is a simplistic view which needs better explanation, but I’m trying to be short. I picture His roof as an umbrella. We go under the umbrella to talk with Him and seek Him (some Christians view this as the church building). While there we feel His presence and have our spiritual experience. But then we go out from under that umbrella to enter our flesh world. We do not realize that the umbrella can go with us, that we can stay under His care and in His presence at all times. Abiding is staying aware of our attachment to Him and realizing His provision for us, and learning to rest, trust, be at peace…with Him, always and everywhere. The flesh life deals with time and place, but the spiritual has no time or place restrictions, or even relevance.
    This is hard to explain briefly!

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