I want to say so many things about this topic. It will probably come up in a future post. Tonight I don't have the full amount of time that I would like to have to be able to write, but I'll get started and finish later some other day, Lord willing!
Before I get started though, let me just say that I had a blast today at out city's Tour De Hope of Evangelical Ministries. I got a chance to learn from a few others and share my testimony of God's grace to some people I had never shared it with before! It was FUN!!!
John 15:4-5 "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
The NIV translates this word as "remain" other translations say,"abide" (I don't really have the chance to do the exhaustive search tonight, but I am thinking about the concept of "remaining" or "abiding." I think (off the top of my head) that part of abiding has to do with obedience-if we aren't obeying Christ, we aren't going to be abiding very well. Part of abiding also might have something to do with maintaining a close intimate relationship with Him, and another part of abiding has to do with remaining steadfastly fixed and focused upon Him.
I think abiding encompasses all of these aspects--and the result of abiding and remaining in Him is that we will bear much fruit--fruit that lasts, does not spoil or fade, and fruit for His glory! (Obviously the fruit is a spiritual sense and not a literal sense of actual "fruit.")
I am not sure if it is a command or not to "abide in Him," but either way, whether it is or isn't, if we choose not to stay close, obey, and abide in Him, we will suffer the consequences of that choice in our lives...and must make a daily effort out of our love for Him to abide in Him.
I have so much more to say, but need to go for the evening. Blessings to you all!