- http://www.lockwoodchurch.org/media (listening time: 28:00)
Jesus says, “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). Since abiding in Jesus is the condition on which fruifulness depends, it is imperative that we have some understanding of what is involved in abiding.
Is it something mystical? Not really. I abide in my home. When I go somewhere – whether to town or across the country – I come back to my home. My life is oriented around my home. That’s where I eat meals, where I sleep, where I work, where I communicate, where I relax. I know how long it takes to get from my home to most all the places I go. I know how long it takes to get back. I plan my life around my home.
To be homeless is an enormous trial. It disorients a person. It throws everything off. Some people are spiritually homeless. They are disoriented in their spirits. They are not abiding – not residing – in Christ and so everything for them is unsettled.
You begin to abide in Christ when you join him by faith. People sometimes refer to that as the moment of conversion, as if conversion only takes a moment. The truth is: conversion is like moving to a new home. The decision to move happens at some particular moment in time; the move does not.
When we make that move, we take lots of things with us and leave others behind. They were part and parcel of our life before but we know they are not right for our new home – for Christ. Better to leave things like selfishness, deceit, gossip, malice, rage, in the dumpster when you move. Even then, you’ll often find yourself reaching for those things – it’s a habit – but moving to our new home in Christ is a time for developing new habits.
(Listen to all of this sermon by clicking the link above.)