{"devotional":{"title":"Aug 16 Remain in Christ","content":"

\"Aug<\/a>John 15:4 Remain<\/b><\/i>*~\u00a0in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.<\/i><\/p>\r\n

Jesus is all about reproducing your obedience to Christ in other lives. <\/span>Eight times in this chapter, John has presented Jesus as a gardener who desires fruit (Jn 15:2 [3x], 4, 5, 8, 16 [2x]). There is a progression in the development of this thought from bearing fruit (15:2), to being more fruitful (15:2), to bearing \u201cmuch fruit\u201d<\/i> (15:5, 8).<\/p>\r\n

Jesus declares Himself to be the \u201ctrue vine<\/i>\u201d (John 15:1) into which branches are grafted. The life force in the trunk of the vine flows through the branches and produces the flowering, fragrant, and reproducing fruit from the Source of its life, the Spirit.<\/p>\r\n

The lesson of the metaphor is that the gardener\u2019s objective is to keep the branches that are bearing fruit, pruning or cleansing them to produce more fruit.<\/p>\r\n

John shifts in 15:3 to a personal application, stating that they had \u201calready<\/i> been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you<\/i>,\u201d and he uses the same word for pruned<\/i> in 15:2. Because they had trusted in His word, they were cleansed and ready to bear fruit in their daily lives.<\/span><\/p>\r\n

The meaning of the command is to \u201conce and for all immediately decide to remain in me<\/i>.\u201d Especially in John\u2019s writings, this refers to a relationship in which a person \u201cstands with another\u00a0.\u00a0.\u00a0. , and remains united with him, one with him in heart, mind and will\u201d (Forest Wychopen, \u201cAbide in Christ<\/i>,\u201d p.59). Jesus said to those Jews who had believed Him, \u201cIf you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed<\/i>\u201d (Jn 8:31). <\/span><\/p>\r\n

Abiding implies more than a superficial acknowledgement of who Jesus is; rather, it is a commitment to bond to Christ forever, and it is far more intimate than marriage. It is a two--way relationship: You abide in Me, and I abide in You. Do you really want Christ in every aspect of your life? There is no privacy for one who abides in Christ.<\/span><\/p>\r\n

Paul wrote of the fruitbearing, transforming nature of the new life: \u201cThis same Good News that came to you is<\/i> going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it<\/i> changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God\u2019s<\/i> wonderful grace<\/i>\u201d (Col 1:6NLT<\/sup>). Has the gospel transformed your life? Those who abide in Christ are transformed and transform other lives by sharing the gospel with the lost of the world.<\/p>\r\n

\u201cMy heart is filled with an everlasting peace and joy in Your presence. Help me to show how great You are to others. I never want to live without You.\u201d<\/i><\/span><\/p>"}}