Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
John 15:4, NIV.
If you are a frequent reader of my writing then you know I am a word nerd; this means I love to learn new words and understand more deeply words that are familiar. While the word “abide” is not new to most of us it is not one we use or even hear on a daily basis. Abide is a bit of an old-fashioned word, but I like the sound of it. When looking through the concordance of the Bible for Scripture references using the word “abide,” I was referred to another word, “remain.”
In the Book of John in just the first seventeen verses, Jesus uses the word “remain” nine times, and this tells me it’s something important, and I need to pay attention.
Jesus is very clear; remaining in Him is the only way you and I can produce fruit as His disciples. With the illustration of the vine and branches, to remain connected makes perfect sense. However, when I think of what life throws at us, sometimes I fear giving up is more natural than holding fast. Maybe you can identify.
Even though temperatures have fallen into the upper thirties in Virginia, rose bushes in my yard are still producing beautiful red and pink buds; “how can this be?” I’ve wondered. When looking more closely, I can see that the roots go deep into the ground where the earth is still warm. The rosebuds are the sign of a healthy root system but the rose itself without the vine could not exist.
What is required of us to remain in Jesus? Just as the rose is the identification of the vine to which it is connected, so you and I are the identification of The One in Whom we profess gives us life. The question then is, in Whom are you connected?