the wonder of abiding

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“Abide in Christ.” Most of us who know the Lord have heard these words many times. For me, though, this is a lesson I am ever needing to learn and re-learn, and learn again. Andrew Murray wrote a book with this exact phrase, “Abide in Christ” as the title, and in it he shares many insightful thoughts about what it means to abide. Here is just one of many simple but powerful quotes from his book: “The great secret of abiding in Christ is the deep conviction that we are nothing, and He is everything.”

We are nothing.

He is everything.

Can I truly grasp both of these concepts? I am nothing. There is no part of me that can exist on its own. Every part of me is completely dependent on Him. He is everything. All that I need to live and love and serve and give comes from Him.

How often do I realize that I do my most effective work when I fully trust and rely on God and His work in me? As humans, we seem to be drawn to the concept of bearing fruit. We like to be productive. We want to be able to say we have gotten things done. That we have made a difference. But for me, I quickly fall into the trap of mixing up my fruit bearing with the source of the fruit itself. I act like I can effectively bear fruit without tapping into the vine. Yes, it’s true that one of the main purposes I exist is to bear fruit. However, the way to bear fruit is to abide in Christ. There is no way around it. May God keep reminding me of this truth every time I forget.

Something else Andrew Murray points out in his book is that the grace of God that saves me works just as powerfully to keep me. This is something else I tend to forget. I forget that God’s grace is just as powerful to keep me as it is to save me. The summary, I think, of both of these concepts, is simple: it’s not up to me. “It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)

Can I fully trust God in the work He is doing in my life? Can we trust Him in the work He is doing at BCS? What will that look like today?

Pray with me…
… that our Father the gardener will empower us to remain in Him
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. John 15:14

… that we will not try to do things apart from Him
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

… that we will bear much fruit for God’s glory
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8

Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory

~ Carrie Warner, BCS Prayer Coordinator