John 15 contains the invitation to abide in Jesus. This invitation is the starting point for a disciple-making movement. A disciple is one who abides in Christ and bears fruit that will remain.
Apart from the Vine, a branch is capable of nothing; it withers and is thrown in the fire. A true believer is never apart from the Vine, though we sometimes foolishly act as if productivity is possible without constant connection to the Vine. Consider with me some aspects of abiding in Him:
The Vine provides for the branches everything needed for health and productivity. In the same manner, Jesus provides everything needed for those ingrafted into the Vine. Because of His great love for us, we need not worry about provisions, for Christ is always our strength. The invitation to abide is an invitation to rest in His provision (Matt. 11:28). We need to learn to rest in Him so that He may do His glorious work in and through us.
The power needed to accomplish His purpose for our lives is also provided by Him. By remaining true to the Vine (love and obedience), we will experience Him at work as we produce much fruit. However, recognize that this fruit results from the pruning process (sanctification), which is necessary, though at times painful, for the fruitful (joyful) life.
Abiding results in much fruit and fruit that remains. John 15:16 (ESV) says, “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.” Abiding is the steady heartbeat of a disciple: We love, obey and abide so that others will also. Be a disciple that makes disciples who will make disciples until He comes.
Hear His invitation and let His disciple-making movement begin in you.
State Missionary Daniel Edmonds serves as director of the Office of Sunday School & Discipleship. He may be contacted at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 2285, or (334) 613-2285, firstname.lastname@example.org.