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Abiding in Christ, the way of life - Jim Bell

We do not use the word "abide" very much in our every-day vocabulary. In fact, it is not popular, except for those who study the Bible, read or write poetry and those who love religious songs and gospel music.

Webster's dictionary defines this word as "to remain, last or reside." The Bible says in John 15:4; "Abide in me and I will abide in you." Jesus Christ teaches us in this chapter that He is the true Vine. In the Old Testament, the vine is used as a symbol of Israel. Here Jesus uses the vine to teach His disciples how they must relate to Him. In verse five, He says, "I am the vine and you are the branches, if a man abides in me and I in Him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

If you want to understand the heart of God and learn of Jesus' teachings, please read John, chapters 14-17. In these chapters, you will hear Jesus pour out His heart, His love for His disciples, for all of mankind. Please read and study these chapters, for they will strengthen your faith and bless your heart.

Jesus said in John 15:8, "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." Verse 10 says, "If you obey my commands, you will abide in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and abide in His love."

We must abide in Christ, because He is the "way of life." In John 14:6, Jesus tells us, "I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me."

We must believe in Jesus Christ and live according to His teachings. Matthew Henry, in his commentary on the Bible, tells us: "We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for Christianity; this is the 'fruit,' a Christian temper and disposition, a Christian life and conversation. We must honor God, and do good, and this is bearing fruit."

This says to me, and I trust, to you also, our Christian life -- the way we live everyday -- how we think, how we act, what we say and do, where we go and who we go with, is a witness, an example to others of how a Christian lives. We should examine our lives -- take a look at ourselves and see if we measure up to the teachings of Christ. Are we abiding in Him, do our actions clearly show this to anyone looking at us? Christ says if we abide in Him, we will bring forth much fruit, and this is necessary for the Christian's happiness.

I hope you have a happy life, one that is pleasing and rewarding. I can tell you this from my own experience, the happiness I have found from my faith in Christ and from the fruit of my life by abiding in Him far exceed any of this world's. I put my faith in Jesus Christ early in life, when I was 17 years old, and from that day until now, God has blessed my life and given me happiness and success.

One of His greatest blessings was the love of a faithful Christian wife to help and encourage me for almost 57 years. He has blessed us with three wonderful Christian children, their spouses and eight precious grandchildren. This would have been blessings enough for a lifetime, but there are countless others, such as the actual saving of my physical life numerous times, most recently in healing my body of a deadly disease, acute mylogenous leukemia, which kills many, and especially, men of my age.

He has blessed my life by giving me the courage to share His gospel with many lost souls and the joy of seeing many come to Christ. What a great and precious experience to see some of these disciples become disciples and share the Word of God themselves!

Praise God!

Are you abiding in Christ and living for Him? You can become a Christian disciple right now, if you will put your faith in Jesus Christ. Please call us at (770) 603-PRAY and allow us to pray with you today. Ask for me, Brother James, and leave your name and phone number, so I may call you back.

I'd like to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with you and share what the Bible says about how one becomes a Christian. Do you believe in God, Jesus Christ, His son, and the Holy Bible? Then, you are close to the Kingdom of God! Don't miss the great life God has for you! May He bless you richly!