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Abide in Christ

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

This verse is one that I’ve read often but it wasn’t until recently that I started to be deeply convicted by it. It seems like a simple statement but as I pondered what it truly meant to abide in Christ, I found it a convicting indictment against my heart. I started thinking about what it looked like to abide in Christ and He in me, in every area of my life. My thoughts, motives and actions all with Christ living in the center of them, and placed as King of my heart. I started thinking in a soul-searching way that I had never done before. See, we can do good things that we believe are for Jesus and still have self-serving intentions. We can desire the accolades of man, or the good feeling obtained when you are commended for something you’ve done. We can allow the fear of man to limit our obedience to God, or the desire for revenge or validation to dictate our actions. We can discipline our kids in a way that humiliates them, so the world knows we have them under control, so our pride is intact when they fail. We can push them to do certain things, so we feel a sense of accomplishment. We can fill our lives with material things and climb the latter to fill our banks with more while our soul is bankrupt. We do things all the time, but do we know why?

Compliments are okay when we aren’t motivated by them, working hard or reaping the benefits is fine when it doesn’t define our value. Disciplining our children is biblical as long as it’s not to make a point of control and pride for the parents. I began to evaluate everything I was doing and why. Is my motivation to please Jesus alone or is there something more to be desired? Am I working diligently for Jesus or for me? Do I want him so much that every purpose of my heart centers around Jesus alone? The heart crushing reality attached to that is if all of my life isn’t abiding in Him and He in me, there’s no real fruit gained. There’s a pile of junk in a perishable Kingdom called self rather than the lasting fruit the Lord longs for. I encourage you to put your life under the microscope of the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to search you and know you. To prune your heart, intentions and desires to abide fully in Him with the promise that He will abide in your heart to produce something real.

Pastor Natalie Snider


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