“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in my Word (abide), then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
You probably can’t remember the last time you used the word abide in a conversation. Most of us don’t tell our kids, “If you abide in my house, you live by my rules!” We don’t usually say to our spouses during our wedding anniversary celebrations, “I’m glad we’ve abided together all these years!”
But abide is a time-honored word I like because it makes me stop and think. I’m also drawn to it because Jesus used this word on some significant occasions with His followers. In fact, Jesus said abiding is the test of whether or not we are truly His disciples …..
The word abide can be translated “to live within,” “to dwell,” or “to take up residence” …… Jesus was basically saying, “If you live in my Word,” or, “If your life is a genuine reflection of what I say, you are truly My disciples.” This means that our conversations, actions, and meditations ought to be permeated with Scripture. We should live so much in God’s Word that it fills us up and overflows constantly from our lips. The beginning of knowing what God wants you to do is knowing what God wants you to know! He wants you to surrender ~
Conversely, if we’re not abiding in Jesus’ words; if we’re not basing everything we believe on the book God wrote; we can’t expect to know the truth or experience His freedom whatsoever. And we can’t honestly claim to be His disciples. When Jesus spoke of the importance of abiding “to the Jews who had believed in Him,” He made it clear that recognizing who He is isn’t quite the same thing as surrendering to Him and living for Him …
In essence, it is similarly as hearing the Word isn’t the same as doing the Word …. James instructed us to “be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22).
Abiding in Jesus’ words involves more than saying we believe certain things about Him and about the Bible. It’s about how our lives represent His life and His words. At the practical level, it’s about becoming increasingly familiar with God’s Word over the course of a lifetime. And it’s also about our lives becoming a more and more authentic reflection of the Author …..
Abiding means His words are persistently changing us. We’re discovering through practice what David described when he said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
(Psalm 119:11). David knew how to abide, and was called a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) ……
There’s a lot about your life today that will be ordinary: driving, working, talking, shopping, listening, and a thousand other things. They can all be done without thinking about God and His glory. But they can also be done while abiding in Jesus’ words, letting His presence and instruction guide your life. The choice you make is an indicator of whether or not you are really one of His disciples.
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and hide it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
(Matthew 5:14-16). In other words; stop hiding your light! See also (Luke 11:33-35).
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” (John 15:5-8).
In summary; during a typical day, what is there in your life about your schedule that needs to change in order for you to practice abiding in Jesus’ words? Is there any certain time when you most sense that you are abiding in Jesus’ words than others?
Seek Jesus today and establish a new routine where He is ever more present in every task we do, big or small. Surrender your all to Him where He then permeates every fiber of your being, and foreshadows every thought. This is abiding. And to quote James once more: “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:25) …….
Let us pray ~
My Lord; it is painfully obvious to me how easily I go about my day and do my daily routines sometimes without even considering or thinking of You. I don’t want to live that way. I want to walk with You and abide in Your Word at all times. I need Your help with this. I want my life to be a disciple’s life; yet it is so easy to become side-tracked with my own failures rather than rest in Your truth that You love me and want me to abide in me and live Your life through mine. Please help me sense today that You long to abide in me so that I can abide in Your Word …
God is with us ….