Remain in Me, the True Vine


By Ramon Martillano

“If we remain in Him and His words remain in us, we can be confident to ask whatever we wish, and it will be given to us.” (John 15:7)

Last year I turned 50 years old (how time flies! .) As I look back, for the last 50 years, this question comes to mind, “Did I faithfully remain in Him and in His words all these years?” I can honestly say, “Not all the time, but I tried my best.” In spite of this, GOD has blessed me and my family abundantly, especially spiritually! And even if sometimes I am cold to Him, I am pretty sure that He remains in me and will remain in me all the days of my life no matter what. He will never, never abandon me even if I abandon Him!

In the above Bible passage, the condition is quite clear. Jesus will answer our prayers only IF we remain in Him and His words remain in us. Quite an easy task, right? In reality it is not. So what does “remain in Him and His words remain in us” actually mean? I am not an authority to answer this question. Nevertheless, let me share my thoughts on this. To me, this would mean obeying ALL of the Ten Commandments to-the-letter. Now tell me brothers and sisters, is this an easy task? Moreover, to “remain in Him” is also asking for things that are in line with His plans for us.

The Lord said,
“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love…” (John15:10). Thus, sometimes our prayers are not answered because we disobey Him (we don’t remain in Him) or simply because what we are asking for are not in line with His plans for us. But then why is it so that some of our prayers are answered even if we don’t remain in Him? I am not sure why. What I am sure of is: GOD is a very generous and loving GOD that even if we don’t totally remain in Him, I think He would probably “close His eyes” and answer our prayers IF what we ask for is in line with His plans for us. (Again, notice the big “IF”.) Isn’t that amazing? GOD is perhaps in a way “bending” His own rules because of His unbounded love for us. Because how can you explain the abundant blessings that you and I have received from Him? Does that mean that we have always remained in Him and His words always remained in us? My own opinion is this: IF GOD will implement His rules on us to-the-letter, except probably for a few, none of us will receive His blessings. Right?

But remaining in Him is not the end of it. After GOD has given us the tools, (answered prayers), we need to bear fruit or else we might be cut off from the Vine. In John 15:2, it says
, “as branches, we either bear fruit or are pruned to bear more fruit or do not bear fruit and are thrown away and burned.” Again, GOD is a very merciful, patient and loving GOD that even if we don’t bear fruit that much or don’t bear fruit at all, He is not throwing us away. He is not giving up. He is still hoping that someday we will finally bear fruit. And to bear fruit, we need to remain united with Him for without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

A few days ago, I received an email from a friend that goes,
People are made to be loved and things are made to be used. The confusion is in the world because people are being used and things are being loved.”

Let us not be confused by this world. We must love the
people around us, NOT the things around us, so that we may remain in Him - the true Vine and bear fruit, all for His glory. Amen.