How can you remain faithful and functional in Christ until you breathe your last breath? Is it enough to just know you’ve accepted Christ at some point in the past and personally identify with Christianity? Or do you need to do more, such as coming to church regularly, praying and reading your Bible? What is the key to hearing Jesus tell us at the end of our life, “Well done, good and faithful servant?”
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)
While all of these are important, I cannot stress enough how essential it is for us to abide (or stay, or remain) in Christ, as those who trust Him for forgiveness and for being saved from our sins. But what, exactly, is “remaining in Christ?”
Remaining in Jesus involves continuing in everything God teaches us in the Holy Bible, but the way we specifically do this is by faithfully and regularly reading it.
Do you remember how John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit begins his gospel? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1, 14)
Jesus is identified as the Word of God. He is the faithful representative of all God is in human form, “…the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…” (Hebrews 1:3) And the Bible is the written revelation of God, the one document provided by Him for us to understand who He is and what He requires of us.
Jesus Christ is no longer physically present in bodily form with us. We cannot sit at His feet and absorb what He says. But we have something even better–we have His Spirit who “guide[s]…[us] into all truth.” (John 16:3)
Specifically, Jesus said of the Holy Spirit: “…He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-14)
Because we know that, “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” (Romans 10:17) the Holy Spirit teaches and works in us as we read and study God’s Word!
But why, again, should I remain in Jesus–why should I faithfully and daily read the Word of God? Jesus explained the Christian walk perfectly:
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away [in verse 6 He says, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” This is not a good thing!], and every branch that bears fruit He prunes [involves cutting back so theplant would be more fruitful–God allows or brings into the lives of His faithful ones difficulty or even pain to focus their thoughts on eternity so they would be more fruitful for Him], that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you [it is God’s Word that makes us holy!]. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me [we cannot do anything of eternal value unless we stay in God’s Word]. 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. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:1-8)
So, how can you remain faithful and functional in Christ until you breathe your last breath? Did you catch it?? Jesus just answered this question!
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
The key to hearing Jesus tell us at the end of our life, “Well done, good and faithful servant” is to remain in Him every single day. We must read and study His Word daily, because that is how God teaches and transforms us into Christ’s image, and empowers us to bear much fruit, which in turn, glorifies the Father!
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you;” if you get into the Bible every day and God’s Word stays in you (you remember it)–and it will, once you start spending time in it–“you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
This, by the way, goes beyond Christianity 101–this is the Master’s Degree curricula–the George Mueller type of Christianity (he’s the Christ-follower who ran an orphanage and believed Jesus so much that he would sit the children down to give thanks for the next meal that literally was not there yet–and God provided!).
Once we live in God’s Word and God’s Word lives in us, our hearts are changed. We see so much more as God sees and desire so much more what He desires, so He is pleased to give us the things we ask. This enables us to bear much fruit for His kingdom, which brings glory to the Father!
Do you see? Do you get it–what/how our lives are to become??? Are you there? Is that what your life is like? Or are you a dead branch about to be cut off? God forbid!
Dear Lord Jesus Christ,
Help me remain in You–in Your Word–and Your Words in me, so much so that I ask for the things that bring You joy and bear much fruit for Your kingdom, thereby glorifying the Father. Thank You that You TOLD US how to be Your disciple! Amen.