John 15:2, 4-6 (2) “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. (4) “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
In this fifteenth chapter of John's Gospel, we find Jesus giving His final message to His disciples on the night before His crucifixion on the cross. As you look at the above underlined words, His main point is to emphasize the principle that marks the difference between those who profess to know Jesus with their lips and those who have come to possess Him by faith.
As I think on this subject of abiding in Christ, I compare the ways people typically view Jesus Christ. Some treat Him as a hotel, some treat Him as an apartment landlord and others treat Him as a Home. My prayer would be that this blog writer, and you dear reader, would continuously, by faith, regard Christ as our home. Let me explain what I mean in light of the above scripture.
Some Treat Jesus as a Hotel
Many people are under the mistaken impression that they can "try Jesus" out for a while, or just simply say they are a Christian when times are good, and then not even think about him once the coast is clear. They treat Jesus like a hotel - they "check-in" and "check-out". But is that the mark of a true follower of Jesus Christ? Notice what Jesus says in the above verse: “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned."
Many people today claim to be Christians, however just because you say it with your lips does not mean you are a Christian. To treat Jesus as hotel, whereby I check-in and check-out, means He is nothing more than a name. Unless true saving faith, worked forth by God's grace, accompanied your profession, you did nothing more than just say a bunch of words. To become a Christ-follower means giving-up the rights to my life. Jesus says these words in Luke 9:23-24 "And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it."
Some Treat Jesus as an Apartment Land-Lord
Now there are those who truly do trust in Christ as Savior, Lord and Treasure. However in their Christian walk, there are areas that need to be yielded up to His Authority, His Lordship. Have you ever met Christians who only call upon Jesus when problems arise? Its like when you rent an apartment, you have a relationship with the Landlord, however you only call that person when there is leaky faucet or brokendown airconditioner units. You pay your rent once a month, do what is expected, however your relationship is based mainly on reaction to circumstances.
Jesus says these words in John 15:2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit." What His will is for your life dear Christian is for you not only to bear fruit, but to bear more fruit. God wants every child of God to bear the type of life-style, flowing from a true heart of faith, that looks to Jesus not as a Land-lord, but as their True Lord. He should not be just someone you and I look to when things are only going wrong, but He must be someone we lean upon at all times. If He is powerful and precious enough for you at the moment of saving your soul from Hell, surely He is powerful and precious enough for you to lean upon in every moment of your life right now.
We need to regard Jesus as a Home in which we abide
Jesus' whole emphasis in John 15 is about abiding, remaining, dwelling in Him. To abide means I have come to not merely "rent out" parts of my life to Jesus, rather I have come to place every nook-and cranny of my life in Him. When you buy a home, the idea is that it is yours. Not only do you come to view that home differently, it in a sense becomes a part of you. You guard it, aim to always keep it from neglect - you take care of it with love.
As a Christian, Jesus wants you to abide in Him, and He in you. He says these words in John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." To abide in a home means every single area is my responsibility. To abide in a home means I regard that place as my earthly base of operations. To abide in Christ means I have given all areas of my life over to Him, and that He is my eternal base of operations .
May you and I today not merely check-in check-out, may we not call on Jesus only when problems come, but may you and I abide. Jesus Christ not only is the believer's Home, He also aims to make the believer His home.
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Monday, October 24, 2011
Is Jesus your hotel, apartment or home?
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