Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If 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. 7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. –John 15:4-8
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. –John 15:10-11
Abide: 3306. mevnw , men´-o; a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):— abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), × thine own.[i]
In a day and time where things are measured in how much we can do and what have you done for me lately it is easy to get caught up in the workaholic mentality of the world and get so busy doing things for God that we forget about God. It is easy to do with boards, committees, and ministries (and most of these things are good things) but when we get so busy that our work defines who we are we need to slow down. God does not define us by what we do but whose we are. We need to abide, stay, and even endure if need be but as the psalmist said: Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10a).
In the analogy here of the vine and branches it is interesting to note the unique property of the grape vine: It is dead on it’s own. See, you can cut off a branch on an orange tree, and graph it into a lemon tree and still get oranges. It can still produce fruit but not so with grape branches, once they are cut off they are done (ever wonder why grapes are the only fruit you buy still on the branch? Now you know!). Only by the braches staying in the vine constantly and drawing its strength from the sap that flows from the vine can it produce fruit. So the branches have little say over producing they just have to because of where they are located.
Recently I had gotten sick, basically my body just broke down and I had to go to the emergency room. I was sick for the better part of two weeks and it forced me to slow down and in this I was given more time to just be and abide. The results were more peace and joy (no surprise there, because it is promised here) and as I ease myself back into the service God called me into (I’ll be visiting my bus kids later today) I do not want to forget or get away from the abiding I reclaimed these last weeks.
Also in the long run we show ourselves to be His and He gets the glory.
And that is what it is all about.
[i] James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (
Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.