Except You Abide You Cannot Bear Fruit
By James H. McConkey
Beloved, are we living the abiding life? Do we realize, on the one hand our helpless, hourly dependence upon Jesus Christ as the only fullness of life for us? Are we learning the lesson of looking to Him in all things? Has it become the habitual attitude of our lives?
Are we slow to speak, to plan, to act, until we have been in touch and counsel with Him? Are we not only pouring out our lives for Him, but--what is still more important--are we holding ourselves in such an attitude that He can pour out His life through us? In short, are we remaining, staying, living, abiding, in faith?
Furthermore do we realize that He is love--love of others? That He wants us to be like Him and therefore says, "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (John 13:34).
Have we given up our self-love then, and made it the supreme purpose of our lives to love others? And if so, are we living it? Are we asking ourselves day by day and hour after hour: "Did I do this in love of others; did I plan this in love; did I speak this in love; did I give, or minister or serve in love; love of others? (1 Cor. 16:14).
Do we throttle every harsh word, resent every selfish thought, refuse every selfish act because each violates the great love-law of our new life? Do we understand that this love means practical, constant, life-long ministry and service for others, even as He served when on earth? Are we keeping Christ's love commandments continuously? (Mark 12:29-31).
Are Both Gates Open?
Are our quiet hours given to communion, and our busy ones to ministering in love, however humble and commonplace the things we do may seem? Are we so constantly looking to Him, and so busy in loving others, that we are beginning to understand, just a little, that wonderful sentence, "It is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me"? (Gal. 2:20).
Have we thus tasted of abiding? Are we following after abiding? If so let us rejoice. For it is not only ours in promise and ours in command, but it is to be ours in actual, conscious experience, as His own blessed Word declares: "And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us" (1 John 3:24).