One of the loveliest pictures Jesus painted is the one where he speaks of his Father as the gardener, himself as the vine, and us as the branches on the vine. He says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
The fruit we are required to bear is "the fruit of the Spirit (which) is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). But just as branches cannot bear fruit unless they are connected to the vine, we cannot bear fruit unless we are connected to Jesus through an ongoing relationship.
So do we remain connected to Jesus, or as Scripture puts it, abide or remain in him? Here are five pointers.
One: Read and study the Bible. Scripture, especially the Gospels, contains the teachings and principles of Jesus, in addition to giving us glimpses of his life. We cannot be connected to somebody we don't know and trust. Reading the Bible will help us get to know and trust Jesus. Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples" (John 8:31).
Two: Pray. Prayer will help us get to know Jesus even better and trust him more. When we spend time alone with him, seeking his face, he will reveal himself to us (see Matthew 6:6-7). As the relationship deepens, the bonding will increase until we reach a point where we are inseparable.
Three: Obey his teachings. Jesus' teachings are not only to be read and studied but also to be lived out. When we obey his teachings, we demonstrate our love for him and our desire to be united with him. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). We cannot do this by our own efforts, which is why Jesus added, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever" (John 14:16).
Four: Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our helper, guide, and comforter. Jesus said, "The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26). He will remind us of the things that Jesus said to ensure we remain entwined with him.
Five: Fellowship with other believers. Fellowship with other believers is essential for our spiritual growth because we are part of a body of which Christ is the head (see Ephesians 1:22-23). When we gather with other believers, we can encourage one another and strengthen our relationship with Jesus.
As you can see, not hard when you know how!
God bless you.