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Pastor’s Desk: Remain in Me

Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2024 at 5:06 pm

Reverend Robert Hudson, Littleby Baptist Church

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” John 15:1-5

There are a lot of important things in these verses, but there is only one thing that we are told to do. Which is to remain in me, meaning we are to remain in Jesus. There are not ten steps you need to follow, a formula for success, or a checklist to adhere to. We as Christ followers are to remain in Jesus.

You might ask what is meant by remaining in Jesus. These verses talk about us being a branch that is part of the vine which is Jesus. The branch is connected to the vine and is completely dependent on that vine. A Christ follower needs to be connected to Jesus and is to be fully dependent on Jesus working in our lives. Being dependent on Jesus means we are to learn to wait on Him. Not something that comes natural for many of us. We like to push to get things done on our own. Yet we are to let Him work in us and through us. Jesus, the vine, wants us to produce fruit so He will give us exactly what we need when we need it. Which means as we remain in Him, we are to wait on Jesus.

What else does it mean for us to remain in Him? If we are to be connected to Him, we are to make sure we continue to spend time with Jesus. For example, Scripture tells us to ‘pray constantly.’ We need to talk to our God, and we need to know His Word. Those are two of the most important ways for us to stay connected to our Savior. We are also meant to be dependent on Jesus, which means resting in His strength and learning from His wisdom and knowledge. Letting God grow us is part of being dependent on Him or remaining in Jesus.

“It is from him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom from God for us-our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption” 1 Corinthians 1:30

As much as we are to pursue righteousness, we cannot do it on our own, we need Jesus. As we remain in Him, it is through His work as the vine that we learn to listen to Him. Through the knowledge and wisdom He bestows on us we stay connected to Him we end up pursuing righteousness. Not by our own doing, but as a byproduct of spending time with Jesus, by remaining in Him. As God continues to work in us we move through the sanctification process as the Father prunes away the old sinful stuff out of our lives to make way for new good fruit to grow. A life remaining in Christ will result in redemption.

Our part in this process is minimal, we are to remain in Jesus. We are to draw near to Him and let Jesus provide what we need. We are to let the Father trim away the sin in our lives and replace it with Godly fruit. We cannot make any of this happen. We cannot muscle our way through it. We need to let God work in us and through us.   

I want to encourage you to become dependent on Jesus. Depend on Him for the wisdom, knowledge, strength, peace, joy, hope, and love that you need. As you learn to remain in Him, it is amazing to see Him work in your lives. Remain in Jesus and wait for Him to work in you and through you.