Family Devotion Guide
Sunday, August 23, 2020
To Abide or Not to Abide
The Beauty of Flowers
Parents, ask your children “What do you like about flowers?”
Flowers are a delight to the eyes and fill the room with fragrance. Our amazement and delight in these flowers is short-lived because of the reality that when flowers are not attached to the vine, they die. When flowers are kept in a vase with water, that process only delays the inevitable. They will wither away and be burned.
But when these same flowers are kept in your back yard attached to its vine, they become vibrant and radiant. As you water them, fertilize them, and prune them, these flowers become more and more lively.
In the same way, Jesus is explaining to us this process. People who are not attached to Jesus might seem vibrant and happy at first, but in the end, like the flowers that are not attached to its vine, they will wither away and be burned. The flowers in the backyard attached to the vine represent Christians who are abiding in Christ. They are vibrant and nourished from Christ. They are pruned to look more and more like Christ.
The Results of A Life That Does Not Abide in Christ
What are the results of a life that does not abide in Christ mentioned in verse 6?
- He is thrown away.
If a grape vine does not produce grapes then the vinedressers would respond by cutting the branches and it would be thrown away. The branches were useless if they were not producing fruit. The branches could not be used to build furniture or homes because they were so brittle and small. In the same way people who are not abiding in Christ and are not Christians will one day realize their uselessness. God created us to find purpose in Him, but if we go through life without being connected to God then we are without purpose. Parents, share with your children the gospel and how they can find purpose in God by being reconciled to His Son Jesus.
- He withers.
This explains further one’s worthlessness without Christ.
- The branches are gathered up.
This explains Jesus’ judgement on those who do not abide and believe in Him. They are gathered up and judged.
- They are thrown and burned.
This explains what happens to unbelievers when they are judged by Christ, they are cast into hell. Hell is a physical place where unbelievers are judged. Jesus often talked about hell in the gospels (Luke 16:23; Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43).
The Results of A Life That Does Abide in Christ
What are the three results of a life that abides in Christ mentioned in verses 7-8?
- A person who abides in God’s word.
As we spend time in the word of God, we get a greater love and appreciation for God and what He has done for us. Our knowledge of God grows as our relationship with Him grows. The apostle Peter mentioned in 1 Peter 2:2 “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” Paul mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
- A person who abides in prayer.
Jesus mentioned that when we pray biblical prayers God will answer. Biblical and abiding prayers are prayers that are centered on the will of God and not our will.
- A person who seeks to glorify God in all things.
Glorify means to praise and lift up. A person who abides in Christ is like John the Baptist and says, “I must decrease for Him to increase.” It is a person who always seeks to praise and live for Christ.
—Pray that you will continue to abide in Christ and bear much fruit.
—Pray for the salvation of your friends, family members, and neighbors.
—Pray that God people would bear more fruit during this pandemic.