“God’s presence is pregnant with possibilities for the focused and unhurried heart.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 7, 2021
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. John 15:4 NASB
When Jesus speaks of abiding, He means dwelling with Him but also dwelling in the company of those you love. This is very much in line with this extended entry Webster’s dictionary once offered for the word abide: In general, abide by signifies to adhere to, maintain, defend, or stand to, as to abide by a promise, or by a friend; or to suffer the consequences, as to abide by the event, that is, to be fixed or permanent in a particular condition. How well those definitions capture the many meanings of abiding. It means to stay close, to stay loyal, and to stay true.
In his classic book Abiding in Christ, Andrew Murray reminds his readers that the work of God’s grace places believers in a position of abiding in Christ and remaining in Christ. He writes:
“Oh, that you would come and begin simply to listen to His Word and to ask the one question: Does He really mean that I should abide in Him? The answer His Word gives is so simple and so sure: By His almighty grace you now are in Him; that same almighty grace will indeed enable you to abide in Him. By faith you became partakers of the initial grace; by that same faith you can enjoy the continuous grace of abiding in Him. To have a flourishing spiritual life is not to merely ascribe to a set of doctrines and beliefs but to experience the indwelling power of abiding in Christ. Just as fruit won’t grow if removed from the tree that gives it life, so we gain strength by remaining attached to Christ.”
In John 15:4, Jesus told His disciples, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
What does it mean to “remain” in Jesus? For starters, it means you should keep pace with Him—not run ahead of Him or lag behind. Unbridled zeal can send you sideways with what the Spirit wants to accomplish in your life. On the other hand, an unwillingness to make your relationship with Him a priority will cause you to be out of step with His plans for you. You need to abide with Him and remain in Him. God’s presence is pregnant with possibilities for the focused and unhurried heart.
To abide is to be present in His presence—or as the great spiritual writer Brother Lawrence spoke of, to “practice the presence of God.” Learning to practice the presence of God will make all the difference in our spiritual lives, giving us a source of strength, power, and wisdom for our spiritual journeys. In humility, we stand in awe of the One who gave us His all. When we remain at the feet of Jesus, we position ourselves to listen and learn from Him. And through abiding, through practicing His presence, we are changed. We become more like the One we’re inviting to be present in every moment of our lives. Abide in God and He will abide in you!
As 1 John 2:24 instructs us, “See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.”
Heavenly Father, give me the patience and faith to rest in You, through Christ’s love and in His name I pray, amen.
Consider a 24-48 hour silent retreat in solitude to reset your resting in God’s love.
Start the new year with Boyd’s newest 365 day devotional book: Seeking God’s Heart
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