Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thoughts on Abiding in Christ, Part 1

Last Sunday, OBF was privileged to have Mark Brown speak during our morning services. Mark co-directs Cru here at Miami University. Unfortunately we had some sound difficulties and did not get a good recording to post on our website. But Mark had some great thoughts from John 15 that are worth reflecting on. In the next three posts, I'll share some of these thoughts along with additional commentary.
  • We should focus more on God than on godliness.
  • We should focus more on abiding in God than on producing fruit.
  • Fruit doesn't come by focusing on producing fruit, but by abiding in the vine.
These three statements are helpful for us to remember in a performance culture where our self-worth is so often determined by what we do and produce. While we should be very interested in producing fruit as Christians, we can be so focused on production that we forget to simply abide in Christ. After all, only He can produce fruit. Whether this fruit is ""the fruit of the Spirit" ala Galatians 5 or people being saved, the Spirit is the one who brings it about. It does not come about by our effort alone, but by abiding in Christ. We need relationship over results.

Consider 4 results of living this way. First, I stop judging my value based on the production of "fruit." Second, God gets the glory for the fruit that is produced. Third, true holiness and joy comes into my life; true fruit is produced (whereas apart from Christ, are we producing true fruit anyway?). Fourth, I can stop worrying about results as I rest in God's relationship with me.

In actuality, the best way to produce fruit is to focus on a daily, abiding relationship with Christ. In this relationship, He will empower us to share the Gospel and grow in patience, love, joy, peace...and more. So let's abide.

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