What’s the best thing you can do for yourself as a Christian in College? Is it to go to Cru? Be in a Community Group? Go to the Passion Conference? Go on a missions trip? I think all those things are wonderful and beautiful but there is something I believe to be more important and essential in every Christian’s life in College and after.
This one thing is to Abide in Christ. Jesus in John 15 describes himself as the true vine, but also explains to us how this involves us. He is the true vine, and we are the branches. Branches, as I’ve found out through my current stint as a proud owner of a mint plant, can only survive if it is connected to the vine. How do I know this? I have cut off branches that I deemed worthless and not bearing good leaves of mint and for some weird reason, left them next to the plant on the table. What happened to these branches? They turned stiff, black, frail, and lifeless. They have no capacity of carrying life and should be thrown in the trash because it’s taking up space.
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)
If the branches, whom we represent in this metaphor, abide, or live off of the main vine, then it will continue to live and bear fruit! We have over complicated this Christianity thing when it was simply about Jesus.
It’s that simple, you attach your life to Jesus and you will have life. You don’t, you shrivel up.
How can we abide in Christ?
One important thing to understand is the relationship between the Word of God and Jesus. John found this relationship so important that it was the first thing he talks about in his gospel of Jesus.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1, ESV)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.(John 1:14, ESV)
In the above passages we learn that the Word has always been around and that the Word is God. This Word became flesh and we now know him as Jesus Christ. Going back to Chapter 15 Jesus talks more about what this looks like.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. (John 15:9-10, ESV)
This abiding, or remaining in, is pointing to remaining not only in Christ, but in His love. We do this by keeping the commandments, which is the Word of God. If Jesus is the incarnate Word of God, then we can only know or abide in him by knowing His Word.
This was a long winded post in saying you cannot know Jesus, which is the chief purpose of life, if you do not know the Word. If we reject the Word from our daily life, then we reject Jesus from our daily life. And if life is found in Jesus, then we reject life if we reject His Word. Along with the Word is Prayer, which strengthens our relationship with Jesus and reminds us daily of our need for Him.
If you abide in Christ, His love will become your love, His joy your joy, His desires your desires, and you will know whether you should be in Cru, serving in Church, leading or participating in a Community Group, going to the Passion Conference, and so on. Because as you know Jesus more, you will know what He wants for you.
Find Life my friends.