Be the Branch! Sounds pretty simple, until Jesus adds “he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit”. Now that’s the hard part, even Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church says this is his greatest challenge! Webster defines “abide” to mean “remain”, so Jesus is telling me to remain in Him when the stresses are so great in my life that my flesh wants to grab control of the situation and do it my way, I am to remain in Jesus and Jesus in me, so that Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Kindness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control flows from Jesus through me, and out to the world and my stressful situation. Can this really happen? Be the Branch! To accomplish this, God will reveal those sin areas in my life, like letting my flesh rule, and provide me with repentance, a plan to turn away from this sin area. Through repentance, we will be able to rest in Jesus and Father and Jesus will come to me and make their abode with me. As we stay near to God, we will see renewal of spiritual passion in our life, so that when we walk through this world, they will see the fruit of Holy Spirit instead of my stinking fruit. Be the Branch! And Jesus’ Peace will flow through you.
If you are having troubles abiding (remaining) in Jesus, you are with good company, read Psalms 73 so that you can see how Asaph dealt with all the stresses and living in a wicked world, and remaining in God at the same time.
Thoughts from Tim and Carol Payne based on teaching from Chip Jackson at Mosaic Fellowship 1.9.10