The Key To Everything In The Christian Life
Get this right and living as a Biblical Christian is possible. Miss this and it is not.
There really is ONE essential, without which nothing else works, in living the Christian life.
I’m normally hesitant to ever say there is one absolute essential to any truth found in Scripture because there are almost always multiple aspects to it. But on this one I think I’m on really solid ground.
So what is it? Jesus taught it with these words…
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4–5
THE PERSON OF JESUS IS THE KEY TO EVERYTHING
At it’s core, Biblical Christianity is not a set of rituals or rules or disciplines. At it’s core, Christianity is an infusion of life coming from Jesus to us.
Jesus could not be clearer on how this works: we are designed by God to function in a living connection with Jesus as our focus and life source: vine and branches.
Jesus said the only way we can bear fruit (godly character, living God’s purposes, fruit of the Spirit, gifts of the Spirit) is when we stay, when we remain, when we abide in an on-going relationship with Him.
Abiding in Jesus = fruitfulness. Not abiding = nothing.
GOD’S LIFE AND PURPOSES CAN ONLY BE EXPERIENCED IN CONNECTION WITH JESUS
From a human perspective people do some pretty amazing things without connection with Jesus. The buildings human beings build is incredible. Athletic and artistic performances can be astonishing. I’m amazed at how some have the ability to take a concept and then build a powerful company or organization out of nothing.
From a human perspective, people do incredible things without Jesus.
But from God’s perspective, and in the end, that is the only one that counts, only what is done from Jesus and in line with His will and purposes will matter in both this life and eternity. (1 Timothy 4:8)
HOW DO WE ABIDE IN JESUS SO HIS LIFE FLOWS INTO US AND OUT OF US?
The Bible is filled with wonderful insights as to how to connect with Jesus, receive from Jesus, and share His life with the world. But I’m going to give you three ways that have been particularly helpful to me using the head, heart, hands model.
- Head. John 1:1 tells us that Jesus and God’s Words are one. Over and over and over again, the Bible shows us that one of the main ways God does anything if through His words. If I want to connect with Jesus and receive His life it will always be to a great degree through the words He speaks.
John 1:14 says “The word became flesh and dwelt among us….” The more God’s words become part of us, the more Jesus life will fill us.
Read, study, meditate, pray over, and act on God’s words and you’ve taken a huge step in abiding in Him. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” John 15:7
2. Heart. Humble faith connects us to Jesus and allows us to receive from Him. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) The poor in spirit are those who realize they need God, cannot save themselves, and cannot live the way God intended without His grace and presence.
Faith, is how everything in the Christian life works. The Bible says we are saved by faith, receive by faith, are made righteous in God’s sight by faith, walk by faith, live by faith, overcome the world by faith and on and on it goes.
Faith in God and His words is like the conduit through which the life and words of God flow from God to us.
When we say from the heart, “You are God and I am not. I realize that without you I can do nothing of eternal value but in You I can bear much fruit. I believe your words and build my life upon what you say.” You are in a great “abiding in Christ” position.
3. Hands. Jesus told His disciples to “come and follow Me.” Jesus still has the same heart and mission from heaven that He had here on earth. He was actively teaching, healing, and building people. He is still on the go and invites us to go with Him.
To stay connected with Jesus it is really important to keep taking action on what He makes real to you in your times with Him. Those times where you are interacting with Him in His word and in prayer.
When you make actually following Jesus your goal, then you will continue to experience His reality and His presence. In Matthew 28, Jesus said, “I will be with you always even to the ends of the earth.”
God promises to never leave us, whether we’re trusting Him, following Him, or not. But it is possible for us to leave Him experientially if we don’t keep moving with Him. In that Matthew 28 passage, Jesus also said to “go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. Then He said, “I will never leave you.”
If we make it our heart goal to follow Jesus wherever He leads us day by day, we will keep experiencing His life-giving presence. If, however, we stop, He will still love us, but we will gradually start losing the closeness of His presence if we sit when He is on the move.
Respond to what Jesus puts on your heart and you will continue to experience His reality in your own life.
Jesus is the key to everything in the Christian Life
Head: Abide in Him by putting His words in your heart and mid.
Heart: Abide in Him through humble faith.
Hands: Abide in Him by following Him.
If you want more resources on following Jesus, check out www.TruVineMission.com
If you want more help in knowing and living your God-given purposes, check out www.MarkFurlongCoaching.com