A Lesson in Abiding!

I was working on a Sunday School lesson a few weeks ago with John chapter fifteen, verses one through eleven, as the primary text. “Abide in Me…”, Christ says. “Abide in My Love…Abide in My Word…Abide in My Joy…” That is the wording in the NASB; while the NIV says “Remain in Me…” but I like the picture of Abiding.

But how do you convey abiding? I wanted to teach this but I wasn’t certain I knew what it meant so how do I teach it?

I carried this question with me on my delivery route on Friday and on one of my first stops I encountered a woman with a beautiful cross. I complimented her on the jewelry and asked if she believed what it stood for. She assured me she did and we talked about her daily devotional and my lesson on abiding; and as I went on my way I said to myself “That woman is abiding in Christ!”.

An hour later at another stop I was asked how I was doing by a woman I knew to be a Christian. She instantly knew I wasn’t sure and we talked about scripture and she blessed me with compassion and assurance and again I left thinking to myself, “This woman is abiding in Christ!”

My last stop of the day and I was tired and wrung out and again I encountered a woman who spoke about Jesus. She shared her testimony. She asked me for my testimony and wept as I told it and she praised God for the miraculous work He has done in our lives. Overwhelmed she took my hand and in the middle of this restaurant she prayed openly with worship and praise for an awesome God…She was DEEPLY abiding in Christ.

When I got to my van I was weeping and praising God for He had shown me what it meant to abide in Christ Jesus. What I couldn’t learn from His word He showed me in His people…in the work of the Spirit…in the hearts that seek Him.

John 15:1-2 tells us Christ is the vine and we are the branches and the Father prunes those who bear fruit so they will bear MORE fruit.

Abiding in His Word (verse 7), abiding in His love (verse 9,10), and abiding in His joy (verse 11). Three women and one complete lesson in abiding.