Abide In Me

Saturday was our inaugural Red Truck Men group in Bluffton, South Carolina. Under a beautiful live oak covered with Spanish moss, men had an opportunity to connect over a hearty breakfast and exchange stories. Our time concluded with a look at Jesus’ teaching on The Vine and The Branches in John 15. As we read this passage together, my first thought was I want to live a life that bears much fruit. I don’t want to be thrown away into the fire to be burned but to experience true joy and peace in my life.

John 15:6 says, “If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers.” We all know men that bear little fruit and slowly wither. For me, my father was an example of man disconnected from the source of life and therefore marked by withering. Barren and withering is a horrible way for a life to end. Withering and burned like a pile of useless compost should not be an option; we must pursue the path of prosperity that requires a tethering to Christ. As we connect to the source, we become bearers of genuine, lasting fruit.

Jesus tells us 10 times in the first 10 verses of John 15 to ABIDE!  Jesus doesn’t rattle off a list of rules.  Instead, He lovingly illustrates how one can have an intimate and personal relationship with himself, The True Vine. Jesus teaches that when we abide in Him, we bear lasting fruit and bring God glory. There have been seasons in my life personally where I desired to bear lasting fruit, but I was not prioritizing time abiding with God in His Word. I was chasing after one joy-seeking mission after another. I was looking for joy in my career or money. Even when I attained “success” in these areas, I still was not satisfied. When we try to live the Christian life apart from The Vine, we end up working harder and producing things in our life that will perish and fail to bring true lasting joy. In conclusion, Jesus made it simple- abide in Me, spend time with Me, pursue a relationship with Me through My Word. We are so prone to complicate this relationship –  trying to work harder and do better when we just need to abide! Everything we need to know about God and His plan for our lives is in His Word! My challenge and prayer is we would abide in Jesus, welcome God’s pruning and prepare for God to yield much, much fruit in you!

Stephen L. Thomas
Red Truck Men