““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 anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
John 15:5-8 NKJV
In birth, the preborn infant is attached to the mother via the umbilical cord. All of the things that sustain the child through the forty two weeks of gestation are supplied, and the child grows and develops. There is a dependence, as the baby abides and cannot live without that connection. That connection is repeated throughout creation, as animals and plants all feature some element of dependence. Like grapes on a vine, all must be connected to the source to grow and to survive.
As I have moved through life as a christian, I have come to realize that I must maintain my constant connection to my Lord. His Holy Spirit resides in me and is, in a sense, my umbilical connecting me to the divine, to His power, to access to the throne room of God. He sustains me through His constant feeding me all the things that I need. I have His Scripture that helps me to live through each day, I have worship which bows my heart before my creator, and I have the connection of prayer, that give me communication to God.
All of this is provided by Jesus, who came to earth, lived a sinless life and died on the cross for my sins. As believers, we must abide in God, as He is our source of sustanance, our only source. We cannot rely on the world for anything, as it only takes and drains, and does not provide.
I have learned most of all, the importance of abiding during the trials that I have endured. I remember when I was in Mayo Clinic years ago, dealing with cancer. I spent days studying my bible, poring over every verse, seeking the wisdom of God. He entered into my situation and turmoil gave way to peace, fear gave way to hope. He became my lifeline in time of trouble. By that experience, I can testify that He is good, that He is faithful.
Brothers and sisters, we may face many things in the coming year and we will need to abide in Christ to get through. We are like grapes on the vine, as we must get what we need to live from God only. In the coming days, weeks and months, we will behold the true nature of the world, and if we are wise, we desire no connection to it. In many ways we are seeing all these things coming to pass even now.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
II Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV
Spiritual survival will depend of abiding in Christ. The spreading of the Gospel will depend on our connection to Lord all the more. We have a duty, a job of taking the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world that is sick and dying. We really don’t have the option of sitting back, or going into hiding in the hopes of creating some kind of enclave where we can feel comfort in our holy huddles, but we must go out and tell people the stories of our lives, of what God has done for us: how He saved us from our sins and is transforming our lives.
God’s word is clear that we must be about the Father’s business. In the passage from John, those who do not abide are gathered and burned. They are useless to the kingdom. I want to be useful to the Kingdom. As I go through this world, I see the pain and the misery in the people I see. I must share the Good News by the power of God.
Choose today to abide in Christ, choose today to build up your connection to Jesus and lessen your connection to the world. This world is passing away.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.”
John 15:16-17 NKJV