by Dr. Charles Stanley
Thursday December 9, 2004
Remaining in the Vine
John 15:8-10, 16-17
Five times Jesus said, "Abide in Me" in His teaching on the vine and the branches. (John 15:1-7) He was making clear what our part is and what is His in setting priorities and making decisions. Being a branch is like being a servant who obeys his Master's direction and does not take things into his own hands. It is not up to us to make the plans; the Spirit of Jesus directs us. That is what it means to live the Spirit-filled life.
Having surrendered all and accepted our place as a branch in the Vine, how do we remain in Him? It requires faith, trust, and obedience. Our faith will keep us focused on Him, our trust will strengthen our relationship with Him, and our obedience will help us remain close to Him.
God has a purpose for His "branches," which is to produce great amounts of spiritual fruit. (Galatians 5:22-23) He desires that everyone see His transforming work in us and that they be drawn to Christ as a result. To make us more productive, He will bring out the pruning knife and remove from us whatever is not bearing fruit. Our salvation is secure in Him, but everything else in our lives is subject to pruning. God's trimming is always done out of love for us and is limited to what is necessary.
Children of the Lord are the only ones who can express His character, and our ability to do so comes from a Spirit-filled, abiding life. In what ways are you starting to look like your Savior?
Need gift ideas? The 2004 In Touch Christmas Catalog is here. Visit the In Touch online bookstore for more information.
Teen Connection is the official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries. Be sure to tell your teen about this cutting-edge web site filled with practical content for teenagers of all spiritual maturity levels. The featured interview for December is best-selling singer/songwriter Bebo Norman. Check out Teen Connection today!