Discipleship is all about abiding in the Vine. But to do that we have to stay connected to Jesus. We have to rely on Jesus. We have to follow Jesus. And we have to obey Jesus.
There’s an old hymn that says, “Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.” Must have spent some time in this passage. Obedience is not a popular word. From the time we were kids, we have wanted our independence. We like freedom. We don’t like folks telling us what to do. Let me make my own decisions. Let me decide for myself what’s best. I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot like what got us in trouble in the first place…in the garden. Not trusting God, but trusting ourselves.
Obedience in the Christian life is not the oppressive bowing to the will of a tyrant. I think sometimes that’s the image we get when we hear the word. But it’s joyfully doing what our Father says, knowing that He loves us and wants what’s best for us. Sometimes that will involve pruning. But it is always for our good.
One last thought…fruit bearing is a direct result of abiding. We were saved for a purpose…that we would live lives that point others to Jesus. That we would share our story and reflect His character to a watching world. If you want to live the abundant life, you’ve got to abide in the Vine.
This post is based on a sermon from our John series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster