Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Abide= Stay, Stand, Dwell, Remain

The word Abide is not the top trending hash-tag on twitter this week. In fact in 2012 it goes against our very nature. We hit a bump in our road- we pack our bags. Someone was not kind to us- we look for a new church. Our friend had their phone off for family time- we tag them as a deserter. We go to a time of  "Prayer" but quickly leave when we hear a ding on our phone because someone "liked" our Facebook status. We need a refresher of what it means to abide in His presence.

To abide is to stay, stand, dwell, and remain. Abiding means staying the course.  It is what he desperately wants in our relationship with him. He longs to be involved in every aspect of our life. John 15:4-5, 16 explains it clearly to us:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
"I am the vine, you are the branches. Abide in Me." - Jesus:
He stands with us- he waits for us to turn to him. When we die out to self we know that there is nothing about us that is not formed, shaped, or fashioned without God. Anything that is half way acceptable about our lives just comes from the fact that we are abiding in him. 

I have been reminded this week of a hero of the faith who loved to linger with Jesus. In "Heroes" Harold Sala tells the story of David Livingstone- who faced great loneliness as a Missionary in Africa after his wife Mary died. After 16 years in Africa he returned to speak at the University of Glasgow. One of his arms could not be used due to a lion attack, his body was useless due to 27 bouts with malaria. His face was weathered. A hush crept over the students as he said the following" Shall I tell you what sustained me amidst the trials and hardships and loneliness of my exiled life? It was a promise, the promise of a gentleman of the most sacred honor; it was this promise, 'Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.'" At his death, his body was found bent in prayer-kneeling at his bed. His bible was open to Matthew 28. In the margin was a note" "The word of a Gentleman."

God has all resources. As we abide in Jesus, He pours Himself into us. From there we have a spring that we can bless those near and far.

When we abide in Christ- his word, in prayer, in time alone with him- our lives can't help but be changed.

Be obedient to whatever need God puts before you today and fully commit to helping that person in need.  How long has it been since you have just sat quiet in his presence? He waits for you today to abide with him.

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