As women, we have a lot to do, right? We wear many hats and carry many responsibilities—wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend, co-worker, boss, church worker, community organizer, etc. How do we function in all these capacities in a way that is fruitful and productive?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5, NIV 84).
The word translated remain is the Greek word meno, which means “to stay, remain, live, dwell, abide; to be in a state that begins and continues.” In other words, you can’t remain somewhere you haven’t first been. You can’t continue what you haven’t started.
We have to begin with Jesus.
“Very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
He calls us to come to Him. It doesn’t have to be in the morning, but it needs to be a time when we are at our best and can meet with Jesus consistently.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100: 4).
He calls us to praise and thank Him. We can begin our time by praising God for who He is.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
He calls us to repent. We should continue our time by confessing any sin and turning away from it.
“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3).
He calls us to pray and to listen. We can start our day by laying down all our burdens at His feet.
I know we are not all morning people—I’m not either, but once I’m up, I can’t get enough of His presence. Apart from Him we can do nothing. But by remaining in Him, we can bear much fruit. What kind of fruit do you want to see in your life? In your family? In your church?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22).
If we want to remain in Him and bear fruit, we need to start our day with Him through praise, thanksgiving, confession, requests, and listening.
And we have to continue in Christ.
To remain means we begin and we continue in Him. So how do we continue in Him?
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John 15:9-10).
We remain in Him through obedience to His Word—not following the world! We need to know the Word to obey it. He calls us friends because He isn’t laying out the Word like a harsh taskmaster to a servant. He is sharing with us the Father’s will for us so we can walk in it.
Spending time in the Word through devotions, Bible studies, or Scripture reading will develop in us a love for the Word and a desire to obey it.
The opposite of remain or stay is to leave or depart.
In our thoughts, attitude, words, and actions, we can depart from the Spirit and start walking in the flesh. The world will pull us away through music, television, social media, and the like. We need to listen to music that will help us remain. We need to watch and read those things that will keep our hearts on Him. We need reminders throughout the day—postcards with Scriptures or prayer during lunch.
Jesus often withdrew and prayed, sometimes even during the night (Luke 5:16, 6:12). If Jesus needed time with the Father, how much more do we?
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit–fruit that will last” (John 15:16a).
We were chosen and appointed to bear fruit. (John 15:16-17) God has called us to a life of love—bearing fruit that will last (eternity). That fruit is a harvest of souls—leading people to Christ.
We can’t be on mission with Jesus if we are departing from Him or if we are not starting with Him.
You didn’t choose Him. He chose you. He chose me. Let’s remain in Him.