What does it mean to have abiding faith?
This past weekend I attended the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Texas District Convention in Lubbock. Our keynote speaker, Cindy Steinbeck of Steinbeck Vineyards & Winery, spoke to us about abiding faith. Our theme for the convention was based on John 15:5, I am the vine, you are the branches. Cindy gave us the definition for the word abide and talked to us about the significance of the root of the grapevine.
Abiding faith comes from being rooted in Jesus. He is like the root of the grapevine which is drought and disease resistance. Jesus is holy and therefore we are holy because we are grafted into Jesus. The root nourishes the grapevine and so Jesus provides nourishment for your spirit.
Hence, God is the vine-dresser. He directs the growth of the vine thus seeing what needs to be pruned. Together both God and Jesus helps us to grow. Yet, we are to abide (continue in relationship) with Him. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing just as a branch when cut away will die. When God wants me to grow, He makes me uncomfortable.
In order for me to bear fruit (such as gentleness, kindness, patience, and self-control), I must be abiding in Him. I am to stay rooted in Jesus through His word and prayer. He alone can provide me the strength I need, the wisdom and discernment in the various positions that He has placed me.
I interjected Cindy Steinbeck’s definitions into the following passage where the word abide is found.
Abiding in Him according to John 15:1-10
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
Abiding in Jesus.
4 Dwell in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, neither can you, unless you continue in relationship with me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him, it is he that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in relationship with me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you dwell in me, and my words dwell in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
God is glorified.
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Stay in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will reside in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and continued in His love.
My question for you. Where or in whom are you abiding?