Abiding: Do you hesitate?

Jesus imagined a life beyond the altar call. A desire to follow Him for more than just getting to Heaven. 

In John 15, Jesus creates a picture of what that life looks like.

He is the Vine, and we are the branches. 

We are to abide. In one another.

What? Jesus, Son of God, Word made flesh. And me? 


For a long time, I’ve focused on the bearing much fruit part, not truly understanding the type of surrender Jesus calls us to in these simple words.

As a wise friend pointed out to me—the branch receives all that is needed for fruit bearing from the vine, not vice versa. The importance of abiding cannot be overstated.

In the next few posts, I want to explore a few aha moments, maybe even start a conversation on abiding.

This week, I want to go to a letter written by John. Abiding is still important to him, even as the early church emerged.

1 John 4:7-16 states

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.   NKJV

What is the telltale sign of abiding? 

It is love.

Accepting God’s love for us, then letting it spill out on others.

Then, to truly tighten the lens on abiding, examine (v10-11)   “Not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son” to be the penalty for our sin….

God’s love took action first.

God didn’t wait for me to be lovable in order to love me. He saw my need and did something about it.  As Paul points out, He died for me while I was still a sinner. 

Still running away and rejecting Him. Even then.

He loved first.

Without hesitation.

And it makes me wonder..

How many times do I, in fact, hesitate? How might that impact the intimate, abiding that bears fruit?

Aha moment.  I can slow down abiding by putting conditions on love.

Because I know my heart and what I’m capable of. The critical, self righteous sludge that spews out when I’m angry or wronged. Or just tired. Or tempted. Or breathing. Walking. Awake. It’s there. I don’t know if you can relate— My own sinful patterns make me drift from the Source that supplies all I need.

Oh how I find hope in the truth that says where sin abounds, grace abounds even more.

According to 1 John 4, the love borne from abiding is God’s love. Not ours.
And for good reason. 

This love

Turns the other cheek, washes feet, forgives seventy times seven, regards others as better than self.

And, I get it.

Loving others who don’t love us back is countercultural, and for those of us who have been hurt a time or two, we aren’t exactly ready to risk that possibility again. 

It’s not easy.

In fact, 

there is no way we could possibly love like this unless we were connected to Christ– 

Our branch is connected to the One who gave and continues to give us His life.

It is Him loving, really, and not us.

Abiding in Him is radical because it produces God’s character in us.  

He prunes away the religion, fear, and pride so we can bear much fruit. God’s Spirit allows us to connect to the love of Christ, and we can abandon hesitation.

Abide in me and I in you.  Jesus says.

Yes, you.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. pigwahlah says:



    1. Thank you for this thought provoking remark! 🙂


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