Great Post from Josh Harris

Posted: November 16, 2010 in Encouragement

Howdy folks….Here’s a post that I found @ www.joshharris.com

It’s about John 15, which I know is familiar to many of us. That’s part of why I decided to pass it along. Sometime (pretty regularly actually) it’s good to be reminded of the basics…

Grace and peace,

H

 Abiding Isn’t Complicated

“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.” – John 15:5 ESV

When we think about what it means to abide in Jesus our temptation is to ask for a checklist. But abiding isn’t a program. Abiding is a relationship.

We live in an electronic world and we want to treat this like charging an electronic device. How long do I have to be plugged into God through a quiet time or prayer or reading a book to get the charge I need to then go out and do my thing?

But Jesus doesn’t say “I am power cord you are the cell phone.” He says, “I’m the vine. You’re the branch.” If you want life, there can’t be any disconnect. Abiding is living in this constant awareness of total dependence. Abiding is what desperate people do who realize that they have no life, power, no inward resource of themselves.

When I think about abiding I can want to make it overly mystical. But it’s not a special spiritual state that we work ourselves into. More than anything abiding is a posture of heart. It’s opposite of self-reliance. It’s the opposite of the “I can handle this” feeling. It is dependence and child-like faith that says, “All I have is Jesus and his life, death and resurrection for me.”

Here’s the truth: you and I know how to abide. When there’s someone in our life that we know we can’t live without, we know how to stay close to them. We talk to them. We listen to them. We don’t go on long vacations away from them. We remember to call. We do the things that please them. We give up other things and relationships to prioritize them.

That’s what Jesus tells us to do this in John 15. If you want to abide in Jesus, listen to his words. Read his Bible. Let his words live in you. Let his words and his gospel shape your thinking. Talk to him. Pray. Seek to love what he loves. Ask him to do the things that he loves. Abide in his love by keeping his commandments. Obey him even when it’s costly.

Abiding isn’t complicated. The secret to abiding is simply being desperate for Jesus. The secret to abiding is believing that apart from Jesus you can do nothing.

Excerpted from the sermon “Apart From Me You Can Do Nothing” in the teaching series called Desperate.

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