In John chapter 15 the Lord Jesus tells us to: abide in Me, and I in you. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. These things I command you, that you love one another. John 15:4ff
Some years ago I read of a saint who studied John chapter 15, for many long years, extracting a wealth of choice jewels and prize treasures from this one chapter. Some time ago for one whole summer following in his exemplary, in-depth deliberations, I too would reflect and ruminate on these verses for many days at a time – to search out God’s nuggets of love… for me. Meditating on precious phrases became a means of daily nourishment – and provender. Oh, believer! walk with me briefly to discover some of the wonders of His abiding love.
Just gaze on, Jesus the true Vine and divine Sustainer, Who pleads:-abide in Me, Rejoice in the Father, the heavenly Husbandman – the surety for our growth and fruiting, Who removes those unfruitful areas in each precious life…to bring forth fruit, more fruit, much fruit. Just gaze on Jesus and rejoice in the Father, Who challenges every jot and tittle of the life of the believer – until He produces…
A life of entire consecration, to the glory of His name. A lesson of perfect conformity, to the nature and character of the lovely Lord Jesus. Absolute dependence on Him, Who alone is our strength, sustenance, and supplier. Undoubting confidence in Him, producing a life yielded to Him alone. Oh, believer! – what sweet mysteries are revealed in this one truth, abide in Me and I in you, for without Me you can’t do anything at all. Oh, Christian! what a depth of wisdom is encompassed in these gracious words. His life received in into our life.. as we recognise our position in Him. For God dwells in Christ, and Christ lives In God.. and we are In Christ! What sweet mysteries surround these astonishing truths. And like Moses at his burning bush, we bow in awesome reverence. We speak in hushed whispers.. and remove our outer shoes – for the place where we are standing is indeed holy ground. Acts 7:33
It is thus in lowly obedience that we deny self and submit to Him:- for without Me.. proclaims our true and heavenly Vine… without me you can do nothing. This is indeed a blow to my own prideful nature.. and this is an incredulity to my arrogance! Is there not but one little thing that I can do? Is there not one little quality in my life that You can take and use? But the answer is unequivocal, unambiguous, indisputable and clear…. without Me you can do nothing. This deep conviction of truth is an astonishment, and yet it lies at the foundation of a strong and spiritual life. Thus my impotence becomes my strength in Him, and my nothingness becomes my highest blessing.. for He must increase and I must decrease – for I am nothing and He is everything.
But wait!! He chooses to expand and extend the glorious truth to become a superlative. IF you abide in Me – IF – IF you abide in ME…. Then – Then…. ‘You will ask whatever you will – and it shall be done. If you abide in Me and My Words abide in you… For in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And so by virtue of our position In Christ and our union With Him, whatsoever you ask will be done. Have we yet absorbed the magnitude of such a precious promise? A promise which is “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ?
But wait.. the glorious truths already exposed to our panting hearts, take us even higher into the realms of heavenly mysteries. Even as the chamber orchestra explodes into harmonious symphonies, as additional cherished astonishing truths are poured into our longing hearts. If you keep My commandments, you WILL abide in My love, in the same way that I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love” John 15:10
Tell me quickly what are these commandments that I must keep? Am I to travel the world and do good deeds to all I meet? Am I to work from dawn to dusk in sharing the gospel of His grace? Am I to abstain from certain food and drink – or spend my days serving in a soup kitchen? All may be good and worthy causes and may be His call on a life.. so tell me quickly what are these commandments that I must keep?
This is my commandment… that you love one another – as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for a friend. These things I command you, that you love one another. Jesus said THIS is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you…by this shall all men know that you are My disciples.
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