Thursday, September 29, 2011

You Keep Me

There's an old hymn written by  Annie S. Hawks, 1835-1918 called "I Need Thee Every Hour."

As I think about Abiding in Christ, I find myself changing the words to the following:

You keep me every hour, most gracious Lord,
Your tender voice of power can peace afford.

You keep me, O You keep me,
every hour You keep me,
You bless me always, Saviour, I abide in thee.

You keep me every hour, You stay nearby,
Temptations lose their power when you are nigh.

You keep me every hour, in joy or pain,
In trials planned in Love, I fret in vain.

You keep me ever hour; teach me Your will;
And thy rich promises in me fulfill.

You keep me every hour, most Holy One,
You've made me thine indeed, you Blessed Son.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Abiding in Christ - Day 13 - Every Moment

In that day,
“A pleasant vineyard, sing of it!
I, the LORD, am its keeper;
every moment I water it.
Lest anyone punish it,
I keep it night and day; (Isaiah 27:2-3 ESV)

Is it possible for the believer to ALWAYS abide in Jesus?

If abiding is our work, done in our own strength, the answer is NO.

But if the Lord Himself keeps the soul day and night, watering it every moment, then uninterrupted communion with Jesus is indeed possible!  In fact, it is the spiritual walk every Christian ought to enjoy.

If anyone does not abide in me, he is cast out. ~ John 15:6He who abides in Me bears much fruit. ~John 15:4-5
How do we abide in Christ?

  • willing, intelligent, whole-hearted surrender
  • accepting His offer, consenting to live in Him - ONLY!
  • believing His promise that He keeps us moment by moment, every moment of our lives.
Nature of Man

We know that the natural man is sinful, and that we live in a sin-cursed world.  There are two objections raised when believers ponder how to always abide in Christ.

Objection 1  Our limited powers prevent us from being occupied with two things at the same moment.  How can a person be doing his work in full concentration on the task at hand while at the same time consciously abiding in Christ?  How can a mom who is washing the breakfast dishes with a toddler hanging onto her skirt and a 6-year old asking how to spell "machine" with the phone ringing in the background and the mailman at the door keep on abiding in Christ.  Wouldn't she have to withdraw herself from all the ordinary activities of life, and live in a monastery?

Answer  Abiding in Christ does not mean our minds must be engaged each moment, or directly occupied with abiding.

It is an entrusting of ourselves to the keeping of eternal  love, in the faith that it will abide near us. . . and watch over us, and ward off evil.  Our hearts then have rest, peace, and joy, knowing we are kept moment by moment.  Abiding in Christ is a settled trust that God is keeping us always.

A father who works all day has his family in mind as he tackles his occupation.  They aren't always first and foremost in his thoughts, but his love for them is what keeps him toiling to bring home the bacon.

A king who goes about his royal duties always acts under the consciousness of his royalty.

A mother never loses the sense of her responsibility to her husband and children, even when she is away from them and busy with other activities.

In the same way, we can always be aware that Everlasting love keeps us constantly.  We are IN CHRIST, kept in Him by HIS ALMIGHTY POWER.

Objection 2  We look upon the fact that we will sin daily as inevitable.  So how can we continuously abide in Christ?  We'll certainly fail and be unfaithful.

Answer This is precisely why we must abide in Christ as our sufficient - and ONLY - deliverance!  We must live in Christ, depending on HIM to live in us.  If we fail, we flee to Him, to confess and be forgiven and  filled anew with Him.

We've had poor examples in older Christians not living a life of faith and trust.  We've seen Christians despairing over health issues, finances, failed relationships, family issues.  Don't be like them!  Don't give in to despair!  It is possible to live in healthy, trusting, joyful consecration.


Every Moment

He keeps you every moment.  Do you believe this?

Moment by Moment

Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine.

Moment by moment, I'm kept in his love;
Moment by moment, I've life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine.

Never a trial that he is not there,
Never a burden that he doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that he doth not share,
Moment by moment, I'm under his care.

Never a weakness that he doth not feel,
Never a sickness that he cannot heal;
Moment by moment, in woe or in weal,
Jesus my Saviour, abides with me still.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Abiding in Christ - Day 12 - God Will Establish You

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us,
(2 Corinthians 1:21 ESV)

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary explains the word "establish".

ESTAB'LISH, v.t. [L. stabilio; Heb. to set, fix, establish.]
1. To set and fix firmly or unalterably; to settle permanently.
I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant. Gen.17.
2. To found permanently; to erect and fix or settle; as, to establish a colony or an empire.
3. To enact or decree by authority and for permanence; to ordain; to appoint; as, to establish laws, regulations, institutions, rules, ordinances, &c.
4. To settle or fix; to confirm; as, to establish a person, society or corporation, in possessions or privileges.
5. To make firm; to confirm; to ratify what has been previously set or made.
Do we then make void the law through faith?
God forbid; yea, we establish the law. Rom.3.

6. To settle or fix what is wavering, doubtful or weak; to confirm.
So were the churches established in the faith. Acts.16.
To the end he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness. l Thess.3.
7. To confirm; to fulfill; to make good. Establish thy word to thy servant. Ps.119.
8. To set up in the place of another and confirm.
Who go about to establish their own righteousness. Rom.10.

It is God alone who can establish us in Christ Jesus. We must cease from striving to establish the connection with God more firmly, and allow God to do it!

God is faithful, by Whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.~1 Corinthians 1:9

Scripture teaches us that in all God's leanings with His people, FAITH is the one condition for seeing His glorious power work in our lives.
"Faith is the ceasing from all our natural efforts and all other dependence; faith is confessed helplessness casting itself upon God's promise and claiming its fulfillment; faith is putting ourselves quietly into God's hands for Him to do His work." ~Andrew Murray, Abiding in Christ, Chapter 12
Do you have faith?

Faith ceases its own efforts and trusts.
Faith confesses helplessness and rests.
Faith puts itself into God's hands, and sees Him work.

As surely as I am in Christ, I will also, day by day, be ESTABLISHED (confirmed, settled, fixed) in Him!

God is my Good Teacher

He plans my course of study with His infinite wisdom.  He delights to have me come each day to Him for the lessons He has to give.  So, every morning, I go to my Master Teacher, surrendering to His plan for my day.  What lessons would He have me learn this day?  Will I be in the school of hardship, partaking in the sufferings of my Lord?  Will I be in the school of patience, learning to bear with others in love?  Will I be in the school of joy, transported with delight to the highest heaven to worship my God and my King?  Whatever lessons He has planned for me are perfect.  He knows His disciple - even the thoughts and intents of my heart.

I am in Christ, kept there by His power, established for His glory!  Praise God!

Monday, September 26, 2011

From Hannah Farver:

(I'll be writing more about faith tomorrow, Lord willing.  Meanwhile, read Hannah's thoughts:)

We must remember
and keep count
the promises of God;
equipping ourselves with confidence
that He owns the future
and will always be
who He always was.
“…a faith that only looks back to Christ’s death and resurrection is not sufficient… Forgiveness for the Christian also depends on having, like Abraham, a futuristic faith in God’s promises.” -Daniel Fuller
“Our confidence and trust must be in all that God Himself will be for us in the next moment, and in the next month, and in the endless ages of eternity. It is He and He alone who will satisfy the soul in the future.” -John Piper

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Abiding in Christ - Day 11 - The Crucified One

I have been crucified with Christ: it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. ~Galatians 2:20

We have been united together in the likeness of His death.  ~Romans 6:5

Andrew Murray explains in Chapter 11 how the Christian is crucified with Christ, planted together in the likeness of His death, as Romans 6:5 is rendered in the KJV.

Before you can understand the spiritual concepts, you must understand a bit about grafting.  Some plants, if grown from seed, end up with fruit that is unacceptable.  Apple trees purchased from a nursery, for example, have branches from a good tree that have been grafted in to the root stock, or stem of the plant.

Why Graft Plants?There are a number of reasons to graft. The most frequent is to reproduce a plant that has favorable characteristics. When grown from seeds most plants are not 'true', that is they do not produce an exact duplicate of the parent plant. This is because they are the result of pollination and will have differences in their genetic code. Plant an orange or apple seed and it might grow into a tree with tasty fruit. It also might grow into a tree with fruit whose taste is unacceptable. With grafting you can plant the same seed, and then, at the right time, cut the top off and attach a piece of a desirable orange or apple that grows into an exact copy of the desirable parent, complete with tasty fruit. 
God desires to reproduce His people with favourable characteristics - conformed to the image of His Son.  He wants them to grow into an exact copy of Him, bearing good spiritual fruit, for His glory.
Grafting is the joining together of two plant parts (scion and rootstock) in a manner that causes these parts to unite and become one plant.
No graft is possible without wounding.There are different types of grafts to be used in different situations, but each entails cutting the root stock and the scion and binding them together so they are immovable.
In the death of the cross, Christ was wounded, and in His open wounds a place was prepared where we might be grafted in. The scion is torn from its natural tree and cut to fit into the graft. In the same way, we are torn from our sinful nature and cut to fit into Jesus.

There is a fellowship between Christ's sufferings and your sufferings.

Abide in the wounds of Jesus; there is the place of union, life and growth. There you will see how His heart was opened to receive you; His flesh was torn so that the way might be opened for your being made one with Him, and having access to all the blessings flowing from His divine nature. ~p.69, Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray
Regard the cross as an atonement to God - Jesus paid the price - and regard it as victory over the devil - Jesus conquered Satan!

Oh, Lord Jesus, I yield myself to You in undivided surrender. I know You plan my life and order my steps and design my sufferings so that You are most glorified, and I am most conformed to You, My Saviour. Lord, keep me grafted into You. Let me share in Your sufferings so I know You more. You were despised and rejected, disregarded by Your own brothers, misunderstood, unappreciated, persecuted, crucified. You deserved none of that. I know nothing of the depth of suffering that You experienced - and yet I deserve it all, and so much more.
Christ came and took my place, so I must put myself in His place, and abide there, at the cross.


  • entire surrender of all self-will 
  • complete denial of every desire and pleasure of the flesh 
  • perfect separation from the world's thinking and acting 
  • losing one's life for Christ's sake; hating one's life for Christ's sake 
  • giving up of self for the sake of others 

Lord, help me. I want Your will, Your way, Your heart, Your wisdom. I desire to be sanctified, holy, set apart for Your purposes, living coram deo, before the face of God, in full fellowship and intimacy. I want to die to self and to live as Your servant, Your slave - only an instrument in the Hand of God, to minister grace to others. Thank You for the cross. By Your wounds I am healed. By Your death I have life. Your love is vast beyond all measure.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Abiding in Christ - Day 10 - He is Your Redemption!

Because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, Who became for us wisdom from God - and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. ~1 Corinthians 1:30

Think about REDEMPTION.  What does it mean to you, Christian?  It is the complete and final deliverance from all consequences of sin.  Amazing. Grace.

Jesus Christ has three offices, Prophet, Priest and King.

As the Prophet, He is our wisdom, revealing to Who God is, how He loves, & the great salvation He gives.
As the Priest, He is our righteousness, restoring us to right relationship with God, securing His favour.
As the King, He is our sanctification, forming and guiding us into obedience to the Father's holy will.

We long for the grand consummation, when we will have complete deliverance from sin and all its effects, regaining all that was lost in the Fall of Man.  Can you imagine?  What would it have been like to walk with God in the garden, before sin entered the picture and marred everything?  Don't you long for that day, when you are free from sin?

As our communion with Jesus becomes more and more intense, we feel the power of an endless life working in us, a foretaste of glory.  Oh, to sit at the feet of Jesus!  Oh, to feel His power in me!

As I type this, a sister in Christ lays on her death-bed.  Gitzen Girl is full of grace, and has chosen joy in spite of living in pain for the past 14 years.  As her world got smaller, her heart for God and others expanded, and she has lived a full and joyful life.  She soon will be in the presence of Jesus, her Prophet, her Priest, her King!  She'll be free, delivered from her body and from all of the sin that so easily entangles.  She'll be experiencing grace first-hand.

Blessings From Abiding in Christ as our Redemption

  • NO FEAR OF DEATH - it is simply the servant that removes the last rags of carnal clothing so that we can be clothed in glory - a new body with a glorified spirit awaits!
  • WILLINGNESS TO SURRENDER the sinful members of our body to Him to be put to death, so we can give them to Him to reign over them.
Matter & Spirit

God created angels as spirits with no material bodies.  He created the world as matter without spirit.  Man was made in His image, to be both matter and spirit in perfect harmony.  This was to be a type of the most perfect union between God and His creation.  By sin, however, the material became supreme over the spiritual.  Men worried about their bodies, what they would wear, what they would eat, where they would lay their head.  That became more important than what was most important - their hearts before God.

God's plan was still in place.  The Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.  And we beheld His glory.

When we abide in Christ as our Redemption, 
  • we triumph over the fear of death - He is our Redeemer, and we have nothing to fear.
  • we see Christ as Lord of our body - We present our body to Him as a living sacrifice.
  • we look on nature as part of the kingdom of Christ.  We know that it groans, awaiting His return.
  • we anticipate life in the heavenly places.  How glorious it will be to be finally free and fully restored!
Abide in Christ as your wisdom, following Him with humility.
Abide in Christ as your righteousness, dwelling clothed in Him before the Father.
Abide in Christ as your sanctification, experiencing His power to make you holy.
Abide in Christ as your redemption, living here as an heir of future glory.


To Christ Crucified
I am not moved to love you, God,
By hope for heav'n's reward;
Nor am I moved by fear of hell
To turn from sin, my Lord.
What moves me, God, is seeing you,
Despised and nailed up high
Upon that cross with gaping wounds,
Rejected, left to die.
Your love so moves me, Lord, that if
There were no heav'n or hell,
I still would fear your holy name
And truly love you well.
And so I need no promises
To sway my love for you;
For even if I had no hope,
I'd love you as I do.
               —Translated by Hugh Seay, Lent, 1978

Friday, September 23, 2011

Abiding in Christ - Day 8 - He is Your Sanctification

"Because of Him, you are in Christ Jesus, Who became for us wisdom from God - and righteousness and SANCTIFICATION and redemption.  ~1 Corinthians 1:30

In the Old Testament, believers are referred to as "righteous", while in the New Testament, they are called saints- holy ones, sanctified in Christ Jesus.  It is only because we are holy that we can approach a Holy God, who said "Be ye holy, for I am holy." (See Matt.5:48; I Pet.1:16)

In personal experience, righteousness comes BEFORE holiness.  A new Christian is overjoyed with the deliverance he has experienced.  He knows it was God's gracious work that justified him, and he figures it is now his work to live a sanctified life out of gratitude for all Christ has done for him.

Reality soon hits, and the new believer finds himself struggling hopelessly to live a holy life.  He prays.  He cries out to God.  He tries harder, and makes lists of things to do, and things not to do.  He only has to learn to partake in the holiness of God by faith.

Consider the example of a fruit tree that needs to have branches grafted in so that it will bear fruit:

"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good." ~Matthew 12:33

Carnal Christian

I can graft a tree so that only a single branch bears good fruit, while many of the natural branches remain, and bear their old fruit--a type of believer in whom a small part of the life is sanctified, but in whom, from ignorance or other reasons, the carnal life still in many respects has full dominion. ~ Andrew Murray, Abiding in Christ
Most new believers struggle with the old nature like this type of tree.

Weak Christian

I can graft a tree so that every branch is cut off, and the whole tree becomes renewed to bear good fruit; and yet, unless I watch over the tendency of the stems to give sprouts, they may again rise and grow strong, and, robbing the new graft of the strength it needs, make it weak. Such are Christians who, when apparently powerfully converted, forsake all to follow Christ, and yet after a time, through unwatchfulness, allow old habits to regain their power, and whose Christian life and fruit are but feeble.
This is the reality for many believers who become weary.Consecrated Christian

But if I want a tree wholly made good, I take it when young, and, cutting the stem clean off on the ground, I graft it just where it emerges from the soil. I watch over every bud which the old nature could possibly put forth, until the flow of sap from the old roots into the new stem is so complete, that the old life has, as it were, been entirely conquered and covered by the new. Here I have a tree entirely renewed--emblem of the Christian who has learnt in entire consecration to surrender everything for Christ, and in a whole-hearted faith wholly to abide in Him.

This is a picture of the Christian who has learned to Abide in Christ continually, by faith.

It is true for all of us that the old nature is ever-present within, continually seeking to rise up and lead you to evil.  But do not fear, because Your Heavenly Father, the Vinedresser, has grafted the life of Christ onto your life.  That holy life is STRONGER than your evil life.  

You WILL bear fruit to the glory of the Father!

This holy nature within you is especially made for living a holy life and performing holy duties.  It will grow stronger as you abide and allow the life-giving sap from the Source to flow through you.

  • Believe that God delights in keeping you holy and vibrant in Him
  • Surrender daily all of your self-confidence
  • Confess daily the utter corruption of your old nature
  • Remember that IN HIM you can be holy
  • Lay yourself and your time, talents and energy on the altar for His use
"Do not look upon a life of holiness as a strain and an effort, but as the natural outgrowth of the life of Christ within you."

What do I know of holy?  Nothing.

But Christ is in me, the hope of glory.  And He is holy.  As I surrender to His will, He sanctifies me, and in Him, I am holy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Abiding in Christ - Day 8 - He is Your Righteousness

 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption ~1 Corinthians 1:30

Sin disturbed all of our relationships and put us out of harmony - with ourselves, with others, and with God.  We needed peace - the quietness and assurance that comes when things are right with God.  Peace can only come with righteousness, when everything is in God's order and everything is in harmony with His will.

Jesus came to restore peace by restoring righteousness.

"A king will reign in righteousness. . . the fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." ~Isaiah 32:1, 17
We are made the righteousness of God in Him. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

When the sinner is first led to trust in Christ for salvation, he looks more to Christ's work than to His person. He realizes that Christ paid the price for his sin, taking on the punishment he deserved, and that He atoned for him, removing the curse.

Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God. ~Romans 5:1

The new Christian seeks to wear this robe of righteousness by renewing his faith and by being thankful for this glorious gift!  But as he grows in grace, he learns about the true union of the believer with Christ, Who made Himself One with His people.

The work of Christ does not become less precious; yet the person of Christ becomes more and more precious. We have to remember that we do not love God for the goodies He gives.  It's not just about the robe of righteousness that I was given and gladly wear.  It's all about Jesus.  The Living Christ is my righteousness.

Jesus is my Righteous Redeemer

In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’ ~Jeremiah 23:6

“Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; ~Isaiah 45:24 ESV

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— ~Philippians 3:8-9 ESV

"Believer , abide in Christ as your righteousness.  You still have within you a nature altogether corrupt, which is always trying to rise up and discourage your sense of acceptance and access to unbroken fellowship with the Father.  Nothing can enable you to dwell and walk in the light of God, without even the shadow of a cloud between, but habitual abiding in Christ as your righteousness.  To this you are called.  Seek to walk worthy of that calling. Yield yourself to the Holy Spirit. . . realize that the King's own robe has been put on you, and in it you need not fear entering His presence.  It is the token that you are the person the King delights to honour. ~p.55 Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray

You are an object of delight in God's sight.  Like Mordecai who was paraded through the streets, wearing the King's robe and his signet ring, we wear the robe of Righteousness.  Not only that, but we are IN CHRIST, so we have HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Overheard in an Orchard

I am organizing our Great Room - the room where we study, do crafts, create and learn.  I found a collection of old cards that I inherited from various aunts.  This card is particularly meaningful to me today.

Said the Robin to the Sparrow,
"I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so."

Said the Sparrow to the Robin,
"Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me."

~Elizabeth Cheney

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26)."

Elisabeth Elliot is worth reading on this subject:  His Eye is on the Sparrow.

Abiding Brings Victory

Abiding Brings Victory

Abiding in Christ - Day 7 - He is Your Wisdom

God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” ~1 Corinthians 1:28-30

in whom (Jesus)  are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. ~Colossians 2:3

Do you seek to be wise?  Then abide in Jesus!

"Let it be your first aim to abide in Him in focused, fervent devotion of heart; when the heart and the life are right, ROOTED IN CHRIST, knowledge will come in the measure we need.  Without such abiding in Christ, knowledge does not really profit, but can actually be hurtful." ~ p. 47 Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray

Ordinary Pastor wrote about the most dangerous person in the church. Knowledge puffs up, but wisdom comes from Jesus.  Don't let your soul be satisfied with forms and images of the truth.  Jesus is the Truth - seek Him.  Abide in Him.

"Man seeks the knowledge first and often never gets beyond it.  God gives us Christ, and in him are hidden the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." ~p. 47
Don't seek knowledge for knowledge's sake. Instead, seek to know Jesus, for in Him are hidden the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  In Him, you can live wisely.
"The life you have in Christ is a thing of infinite sacredness, far too high and too holy for you to naturally know how to act it out.  He alone can guide you."

Life is not easy, and often we encounter things that puzzle, worry, or frighten.  We get angry at injustice and frustrated by things that seemingly never change.  It's in those instances that we truly need to abide in Christ.

I know what I am talking about.  I've often been tempted to worry, or to rely on self to "fix" a problem.

Just yesterday, three of our children went to piano lessons.  I knew there was a chiropractor appointment scheduled after their lessons.  I wasn't worried as the clock ticked on. But as it ticked on, and on, and on... one hour, two hours... I began to imagine all sorts of terrible things had happened.  Did the car break down on the side of the road?  Did a combine come off the field and crash into them?  Was I going to see a police car pull into our lane to tell us our kids were in the hospital, or worse?

Vain imaginings.  Ridiculous thoughts.

Oh, I prayed and kept on acknowledging how faithless my fears were - but there it was... I was not abiding in Christ.  I was relying on self.

Live Life Confidently

We must live life confidently, knowing all is perfectly clear to Him.  Trust Him!  He knows!  Not for a moment did Jesus lose track of my children yesterday.  Not for a moment were they out of His care.

Study God's Word with Anticipation

Jesus abides in you, as you abide in Him.  He is light, the wisdom of God.  The words He speaks are spirit and life to those who live in Him.  As you study His word, trust that He will guide you and open your eyes to what He is teaching you.  Read the Word humbly, patiently waiting on God to reveal Himself to you.

Do Your Work Joyfully

In your work, rejoice that God is guiding you, even where you do not see the way.  Jesus is deeply interested in your daily life, its ways and its work.

"Trust His sympathy, believe His love, and wait for His guidance - it will be given.  Abiding in Him, the mind will be calm and free from distraction, judgment will be clear as the light of heaven shines on earthly things, and your prayer for wisdom, like Solomon's, will be fulfilled "exceedingly abundantly above all that (you) ask or think." (Eph. 3:20)" ~ p. 49

  • Wait on Jesus.
  • Withdraw from needless distraction.
  • Wisdom is in Him, so abide in Him.             

  Christ is our Wisdom.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Abiding in Christ - Day 6 - God Has Done It!

God Has United You to Himself.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
(John 15:1 ESV)

Every single day, I must remind myself of my position in Christ.  By faith I say, "I am in Christ", and this is the work of God Himself, and the Holy Spirit teaches it to me.

It is the believer's desire to become one with Christ, but hear this: it is God's desire that we should be one with Christ, too!  He is the One who silently worked in every believer a spiritual awakening.  God does His work by moving us to do our work, which is distinct and tangible.  We are converted, we grow in faith, we learn to pray, we are obedient.  But God is the One who does a wondrous, secret work in us.

"So often when the believer tries to say, "I am in Christ Jesus," he looks more to  the work he has done than to that wondrous secret work of God, which united him to Christ.  This is to be expected at the beginning of the Christian course.  "I know that I have believed," is a valid testimony.  But it is important that the mind be led to see that at the back of our turning, believing, and accepting of Christ, God's almighty power was doing its work of inspiring our will, taking possession of us, and carrying out its own purpose of love in planting us into Christ Jesus.  As the believer understands the divine side of the work of salvation, he will learn to praise and to worship with new enthusiasm and to rejoice more than ever in his salvation.  At each step he reviews, the song will come, "This is the Lord's doing" - Divine Omnipotence working out what Eternal Love devised." ~p.44, Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray.


"And those He predestined, He also called."  ~ Romans 8:30

The calling in time is the manifestation of God's purpose in eternity!  

"The Lord has appeared to us in the past, saying 'I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'" ~Jeremiah 31:3


And every single branch the Vinedresser grafted into the Vine will never be plucked out of His hand.  (John 10:28)  What safety!  What security we have, in Christ!

The God Who chose me
                    and grafted me into Christ Jesus my Lord
                    has ensured that I will be worthy of His Son
                                       as I yield to His will
                                       and rest in His care
                                       and abide in Him constantly!
This deepens my sense of dependence.
                   and causes me to pray without ceasing
                                    and to praise my God continually
                                    for I am IN HIM because OF HIM.

What God has created is exquisitely suited for its purpose.
  • the sun gives light and heat perfectly!
  • the eye sees beautifully!
  • the new man does good works - for if any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation!
We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.  ~ Ephesians 2:10

Oh, believer, stop looking at your old nature so much!  Stop complaining about your weakness!  Stop focusing on your failures!

Your new nature is perfectly formed for its good purpose - to do good works!  Accept that, and fulfill your glorious destiny!

In your Christian walk, with all of its
  • claims
  • duties
  • needs 
  • desires          LET GOD BE EVERYTHING!
"See Jesus, as He speaks to you, "Abide in Me," pointing upward and saying, "My Father is the vinedresser.  Of Him you are in ME, and through Him you abide in Me, and to Him and to His glory shall be the fruit you bear." ~p. 44, Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray



In Him
With Him
Through Him
Every breath;
By Him
For Him
To Him
Life and Death.

by Linda Billson

Monday, September 19, 2011

Abiding in Christ - By Faith - Day 5

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.  ~ Colossians 2:6-7

Christian, how did you come to Christ?  Do you remember fear and trepidation as it dawned on you that God IS, and that He is pure and holy and completely righteous, and that He requires the same of you?

Do you remember feeling the corruption and guilt of your soul?  How could pardon and love be for a sinner like me?

Do you remember feeling the weakness of your resolve, and the ever-present death of your slowly dying body?  How could I get the power to surrender and trust?

Do you remember the inability to stand firm?  How could a sinner like me remain faithful?

Corruption and guilt, weakness and death, unfaithfulness and failure - these difficulties were like mountains looming over your soul.  How were they removed when you came to Jesus?  Simply by the Word of God.

"That Word compelled you to believe that despite guilt in the past, weakness in the present, and unfaithfulness in the future, the promise was sure."                                           ~ Andrew Murray; p36, Abiding in Christ

Think of it!

We come to Christ by faith.
We are united to Him by faith.
We are rooted and established in the faith.

Abiding in Jesus can only be BY FAITH.

Sadly, some Christians who profoundly believe that justification is by faith alone think that everything that follows depends on their diligence and faithfulness.

Not true.

The just shall live by faith! ~Romans 1:17

The old nature of the believer remains evil and sinful.  
It is only as he comes daily,
                                      empty and helpless
                                      to Jesus His Saviour,
               to receive HIS LIFE
                         and HIS STRENGTH
that he can bear fruit for God's glory!

Learn a lesson from when you first came to know Jesus.

  • He called you
  • He received you
  • He pardoned you
  • He loved you
  • He saved you
He did this for you when you were an enemy and a stranger!  Now that you are His own, will He not do so much more for you?  Will He not keep His promises?

For if, while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.  ~Romans 5:10

Oh, Beautiful Saviour, You are my Vine.  You hold me fast by your strength and nourish me daily with Your food.  You cause me to grow in grace and wisdom, and You see that I bear fruit for Your glory.  Remind me each moment that I am a branch in You, my Vine.  Without You, I am nothing.  You keep me by Your power.  I am ever grateful to be Yours.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Daily Spurgeon: We need fellowship with Jesus

The Daily Spurgeon: We need fellowship with Jesus: The fittest condition of a believer is in communion with Christ. It ought not to be a privilege occasionally enjoyed, it...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Abiding in Christ, as the Branch in the Vine - Day 4

"I am the VINE, you are the branches." ~John 15:5

I Am the True Vine
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
(John 15:1-6 ESV)

Jesus used this illustration to teach his disciples what it means to Abide in Him.  The union with Christ is a living, permanent and complete one; both the vine and the branches are dependent on each other.  

Without the vine, the branch can do NOTHING.  The life, sap, fatness and fruitfulness of the branch are only possible because of its attachment to the vine.  

As a Christian, only what I do through the power of Christ in me pleases God.  The only good fruit I bear is through the life-sap of the Holy Spirit.  I know this; it is not a surprise to me.  I know that I can only do what is pleasing in God's sight if I do it as I am led by Him.

But there is a surprise in this parable.

Without the branch, the vine can also do NOTHING.  A vine with no branches bears no fruit.

Andrew Murray writes, 

Such is the wonderful condescension of the grace of Jesus; just as His people are dependent on Him, He has made Himself dependent on them.  Without His disciples He cannot dispense His blessing to the world. . . This is God's own doing, giving such high honour to those He has called His redeemed ones!

As neither vine nor branch is anything without the other, so is neither anything except for the other.  


The vine does not gather the minerals from the soil for itself - all it does in its work of bringing minerals, water, and nutrients from the soil is FOR the branches!

"The glory which You gave Me I have given them." ~ John 17:22

"All that Jesus is in heaven, He is for us.  He has no interest there separate from ours; as our representative He stands before the Father on our behalf!"                                           ~A. Murray

The branch bears fruit that proclaims the excellence of the vine; it has no reason to exist except to be of service to the vine.

The entirety of the believer's consecration is given for service to his Lord.

  • every power of his being
  • every moment of his life
  • every thought
  • every feeling
ONE THING to live for:  the will, the glory, the work, the kingdom of JESUS.


To bear fruit.  Only to bear fruit.

"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away."

  • the leaves of the branch are for the maintenance of its life, for the perfection of its fruit
  • the fruit is for others - it is given away
The believer must forget himself and live entirely for others; this is why Jesus came:
  • to love them
  • to seek them
  • to save them
Can you say with Andrew Murray these heartfelt words?

"Jesus is indeed to me the True Vine, bearing me, nourishing me, supplying me, using me, and filling me to the full to make me bring forth fruit abundantly."

"I am indeed a branch of Jesus, the True Vine, abiding in Him, resting on Him, waiting for Him, serving Him, and living so that through me, too, He may exhibit the riches of His grace, and give His fruit to a dying world."

Jesus looks at His people with love.  I can picture Him saying,

"It is my desire to make you a fruitful branchOnly abide in Me.  You are weak, but I am strong; You are poor, but I am rich.  Only abide in Me.

In case you missed it, abiding is nothing but
  • the acceptance of my position
  • the consent to be kept there
  • the surrender of faith, knowing the STRONG VINE will hold the weak branch.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Abiding in Christ - Day 3 - Trust Him to Keep You

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.(Philippians 3:12 ESV)

Is a life of unbroken fellowship with my Saviour possible?  

Or am I...

  • distracted by dishes
  • worried about washing
  • fretting over finances
  • plotting perfection
  • acquiring achievement?
Andrew Murray says,

"Abiding in Christ is meant for the weak and is beautifully suited to their frailty. . . It is simply weakness entrusting itself to a MIGHTY ONE to be kept, the unfaithful one casting itself on ONE WHO IS altogether TRUSTWORTHY and TRUE!"

We only have to yield, to trust, and to wait.

Jesus is the living home of my soul.

False thinking:  Saved and pardoned by grace, and now working to live as Christians.Praying for help, but considering the work as MY work to do.
"Abide in Me."  

Jesus' words are not words of the law, demanding us to DO.  
They are words of grace, blessing us with belief.

Think about this:

A Father is helping his son climb a steep precipice.  The son has no strength, but he thinks he can do it...but in reality, the Father's strength keeps him on the right path.  The Father's wisdom shows where to go.  The Father's power makes the child's climb successful.

The work of being a Christian is Christ's alone.  

His aim is to have me abide in Him.

  • unbroken fellowship
  • pardon and peace
  • filled by the Spirit
  • growing in grace
  • holy, fruitful
For this, Christ took hold of me.  

He leads me on the climb.  He shows me where to go.  His strength and power and wisdom are mine as I climb.  Without Him, I cannot do anything.  

Can I trust Him?

He Who sought me and found me?
He Who brought me near?

Can I trust Him to keep me?  To keep me IN HIM, moment by moment, day by day?

Oh, my Jesus, Saviour, Lord, Master, Friend,
Lover of my soul;
You know me.
    And even in the knowing
You love me.

Lift me to the place You bid me to go.
     Like the child who cannot climb the precipice 
              without the strength of his father's power,
I cannot go where You want me to be,
               without Your power.

Lift me there, dear Lord.
Keep me there.

Oh, Lord, keep me.  
I do abide in You.
I know that in You there is peace
                                             and joy
                                             and abundant life
                                             and blessed rest.

Give me the courage to boldly delare,


In Your presence there is fullness of joy.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Abiding in Christ - Day 2 - Finding Rest

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”(Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

Don't you want to rest?  

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, don't you want to just stop, and retreat, and run from the chaos, and REST?

Imagine what true rest would look like:

  • delivered from every fear
  • supplied with every need
  • fulfilled by every desire met
  • no fear, no need, no desire - just rest
When Jesus calls you to Himself, He welcomes the weary one into His rest.  There is joy and delight initially, but the believer begins to worry, to fret, to work.  He sees his failures and tries harder.  Where is that rest that was promised?  Did Jesus fail to give rest?

Heaven forbid!

Jesus gives undisturbed rest to those who ABIDE in Him. 

He says,

  • become My scholars
  • yield to My training
  • submit to My will
Do you want to know the secret of how to get Perfect Rest?


Entire surrender to Jesus is the secret of perfect rest.  Give up your entire life to Jesus.  Take up His yoke.  Relax in His leading and teaching.  Be what He wills.  Do what He wills.  Abide in Him.

He says, "My yoke is easy."

The soul yields itself to obey, and the Lord gives the strength and the joy to do it.

The soul turns to the Master Teacher to learn; the Lord's gentleness meets every need.

The soul surrenders itself to abide in Jesus, the Lord's almighty love keeps and blesses.

Do not struggle.  Surrender.  Here are two illustrations to think about.

The weary traveller sees the inn, and heads there to rest.  Does he become more weary while resting in the inn?

The fretting child is comforted, resting in his mother's arms.  Does he feel like he is working while he sits on her lap?

The traveller throws himself on the bed, and rests.  The child relaxes in his mother's arms, and rests.  Resistance would not give rest.  Refusing to enter the inn would not bring rest to the weary one.

In the same way, resisting the yoke of Jesus makes life difficult.  He says, "My yoke is easy; my burden is light."

Abide in Jesus by giving yourself to be RULED, TAUGHT, and LED.  Rest in the arms of Everlasting love, and you will receive

  • STRENGTH for every duty
  • COURAGE for every struggle
  • BLESSING in every cross
  • and the JOY of LIFE ETERNAL in death itself