“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. JOHN 15:5-13 NIV
Encounters with Jesus can begin change, but abiding in Him sustains it
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. JOHN 15:5 NIV
What does it mean to abide?
To dwell; to remain; to stay; to continue to be present; to continue in relationship; to endure; to accept; to wait; to suffer for; to submit to; to be faithful to
Do these words describe your life with God?
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. ACTS 4:13 NIV
How do we abide in Christ?
We practice being in two places at once.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. JOHN 15:9-10 NIV
Practice doing what Jesus himself practiced
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. JOHN 15:2 NIV
What has God been removing from your life in order to bring more fruit?
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends JOHN 15:12-13 NIV
Personal Reflection Guide
Find a quiet place and allow your feelings and thoughts to become calm. Read Psalm 91, and recall that Jesus commands you to abide in Him in order to experience His love and power and live the Christian life. What does abiding in Jesus mean to you? What is it like to abide in Him? What does it feel like not to abide in Him? Ask God to help you discern what helps you to abide in Jesus in all situations throughout the day. Pray He will reveal any hindrances you struggle with that keep you from abiding in Him amidst the stresses, joys, and troubles of your life. Take action this week daily to practice what God revealed helps you to abide in Jesus. Ask Him to help you overcome the major hindrance he showed that keeps you from abiding in Him. Close your time by thanking Him for what He is going to do in and through you as you abide in Jesus.
- Have someone read JOHN 15:5-13 NIV aloud, slowly. Then consider the different connotations of the word “abide” in its original language (the list can be found in the sermon notes). Which of these presents the biggest challenge for you?
- If you knew tonight was your last night on earth, what would be your final words to your close friends and family?
- Read John 15:2 NIV. God prunes both the good and bad things so that we can become the truest version of ourselves. What have you experienced as a result of God's pruning in your life?
- Living “for” Jesus isn’t necessarily living “with” Jesus. What practices help you experience more of being “with” Jesus?
- NEXT STEPS: Choose a spiritual discipline this week that helps you connect with Jesus. Commit to practicing this throughout the week and share with your group how it impacted you with your group.