Weekly Devotionals – 8 January 2024

The above is a chorus I used to sing in my early days as a Christian. This song is a reflection of the Words of Jesus found in John 15. The word “abide or abideth” is mentioned 10 times in John 15:1-10. The word “Abide” is defined as “accepting or acting in accordance to a rule or person. This definition is captured in the following verse:
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7)
Jesus is the True Vine in which we need to abide. The heavenly Father is the husbandman or gardener (vs 1). We are the branches (vs 5). The question that needs to be asked is this; “Are we Abiding in the Vine”? The words of Jesus in John 15 provide the warnings and benefits of abiding.
Dangers of Not Abiding
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:2)
As believers, it is important to remain connected to Christ in our daily walk. Our relationship with God needs to be cultivated and nurtured. The more time we spend “abiding” with Jesus the more we become like Him. On the other hand, failure in maintaining relationship with Christ will eventually result in being cut off from the life-giving vine. Jesus later addresses the sobering reality of what being cut-off entails:
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:6)
Many Christians live under the allusion that they can serve God on their terms. This casual approach in serving God can bring a person to the place of being removed from the vine. Jesus makes the statement that without Him as the vine, we can do nothing (vs 5). Let us not forget the rebuke of the Lord to the Laodicean church; a group of believers that provides us a picture of the last-day church.
So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:16)
Blessings of Abiding
“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. (John 15:5)
The promise of bringing forth “much” fruit is promised to those who abide. There is also the promise of becoming a true disciple of the Lord (vs 8). The “much” fruits that God desires are the fruits of the Holy Spirit being made manifest in the life of a believer. What are those fruits?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The nine fruits of the Spirit represent attributes of the Holy Spirit that can be cultivated and woven into the life of a believer. For a Christian this can only result from a position of abiding in the Vine. Once again, we ask the question, are we Abiding?
There are even more benefits of abiding that Jesus speaks of in John 15.
In verse 7, the privilege of asking and receiving answered prayer is highlighted to those who continue to abide in Him. Finally, we discover that by abiding in His love we can manifest the fruit of His love to others. This is how we can fulfil the two great commandments of loving God and loving one another. (Matthew 22:37-40)
What does it take to come into this level of bringing forth “much fruit” in our relationship with God?
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:2)
It may surprise you to know that being fruitful is the key to bearing “much” fruit. This truth needs to be developed further so that we can understand the process of how a believer can come into that position of True Abiding in Christ. This will be examined in a future Light Devotional.
I personally feel we are in a John 15 moment. Are we abiding in Christ? Are we seeking to have a greater level of intimacy with our risen Lord? We must never take our walk with the Lord for granted. In doing so we run the danger of being cut off from the life-giving vine. Let’s close with the remaining portion of that old charismatic chorus that is noted above.
“Abiding in the Vine, Abiding in the Vine, Love, Joy, Health, Peace, He has made them mine. I’ve got prosperity, Power and Victory, Abiding, Abiding in the Vine.
Are you Abiding in the Vine?

Monday: John 14:17
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
Tuesday: Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Wednesday: John 8:31-32
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Thursday: Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Friday: Colossians 2:6
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
Saturday: 1 John 2:27
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
Sunday: Romans 8:9-10
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
By Pastor Timothy O’Connell