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Marriage and Family: Learning to Abide

January 30, 2012
If you knew you were about to die, would you waste time with meaningless chatter? Or would you choose your last words carefully? I know I would make absolutely sure, I shared the most important things with those closest to me.
This is exactly what Jesus did in John 15. HE knew he was about to die and so he gathered his disciples around him and shared some important last words with them. Things they HAD TO KNOW in order to be successful after he left.  In fact, he shared the most important secret they had to know in order to not loose heart.  If they were going to advance HIS Kingdom and not be over-come by their circumstances and the trappings of this world, they would need this secret to success. You see, Jesus wanted them to be effective in their following of HIM.  He wanted them to live as over comers and successfully fulfill the purpose of their lives.  And guess what, HE wants the same for YOU!  
The secret he shared with them is one WORD ABIDE!  In John 15, he uses the word ABIDE (or some versions use remain) 11 times in 10 verses.  Do you think HE was trying to make a point? We do! 
The Greek word abide or remain means to: sojourn with, to continually be present with, to survive, to live, to not become another or different. So, what do you think the last words of Jesus were saying to his disciples?  What is he saying to you?  He is saying that in order to survive in this world, to live the life you were destined to live, to not become consumed with this world such that you start to look and act like it, you are going to have to travel with HIM. 
You are going to have to continually practice HIS PRESENCE. You are going to have to abide in HIM.

So what does that really mean?  and How does it happen?  Here are  four things Jesus says that go along with ABIDING.
PRUNE -  the word literally means to cleanse from filth and impurity. If you are going to really stay connected with Christ, then you are going to have to take an inventory of your life and then prune some things away. Would you be so bold and ask the Holy Spirit right now what you need to remove from your life that God does not want you to have in it! 
Make the decision today to
get rid of whatever is in your life that does not bring God glory...start bearing fruit in your life by pruning some areas, some attitudes, some behaviors and choices in your life that simply do not need to be there.  Start abiding with Christ right now through confession, repentance, and receiving the grace and forgiveness of Jesus.
DEPENDENCE - Jesus said, apart from HIM, you can do NOTHING.  So stop living your life independently of Christ and start living dependently upon HIM.  Friend, this starts in the heart with a posture of prayer and surrender.  What do you need to surrender to Christ today.  What area of your life is he NOT A PART OF?  What area do you need to start including HIM with?Finances, Relationships, your Past, your future?
OBEDIENCE -  let us make this simple for you: just start OBEYING God in the areas of your life that you know you should OBEY him with and you will start to bear fruit. Jesus says, that you are his friend IF you do what he commands how simple and clear can it be?
LOVE -  ultimately, this is the result of abiding and remaining in Christ.  It is the greatest commandment to LOVE Christ with everything in you. And to LOVE others with the very LOVE of Christ. Friend, when you become a more loving person, when you start to love without selfish agenda's and with a demonstration of Christ, your life will take on such richness and purpose, you will literally be blown away.  But to love like this, you will have to abide.  You will have to stay close to Christ.  Here's how it works:  as you practice his presence, as you remove the things that are unpleasing to HIM, as you  stay dependent upon HIS WORD and HIS CHARACTER to take over your WORLD and your CHARACTER, you can't help but obey all that HE has called you too, after all, he showed you the ultimate example of love by laying down is life for you.  So now, go and love, live for HIM, travel through this life with HIM as the source of you life, the very branch that you are connected to that you might live a life
bearing not just fruit, but more fruit, yes even MUCH fruit.

To listen to an audio teaching on John 15 by our friend Michael John, CLICK HERE
To watch a video clip of Jena and I talking about the secret of abiding in our relationships,
CLICK HERE

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1 Comment
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Brooke Gamble On Tuesday, January 01 at 9:59 AM
Love this resource! Enjoyed listening to yall and learning about your feet Jena!! It was a good reminder to stop and listen!!!!