Our greatest need as believers is to stay deeply connected with Christ (John 15:4-10). He desires us to know, commune and fellowship with Him on a moment-by-moment basis. Christians write, preach, teach, organize, develop evangelistic strategies, and administer programs, but many have forgotten to spend time with the Lord . . . to abide! We need a more personal communion with God in prayer and through His Word so that we can grow more in the “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
We need to find ways to live our Christian life by abiding in Christ in a very real and practical sense. As a pastor of a local church I have come to realize that if more folks truly gave their relationship with the Lord the same amount of time they give to so many other things in their life that there would be a lot more believers walking in victory and not discouragement. If you are living out your daily walk with Christ in the same old way . . . no excitement, no intimacy, no deep abiding . . . you must make a change!
Let me help you to find a place to start. You need more than the knowledge that you need to abide in Christ; you need to know exactly what that means and how to go about it. Here are a few simple points that will help you daily to abide in Christ.
1. Spend quality time in prayer.
Have you prayed today? The Bible tells us to, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
As well it tells us to, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2)
We must follow God day by day with prayer. We must fill our mouths with urging, and fill our urging with faith and fervent desires. Abiding in Christ means that we are celebrating our fellowship with Him, and the greater our fellowship the more we will realize the richness of Him and be able to appropriate His grace and love in all dimensions of our lives. To abide in Christ is to pray always and as the psalmist told us, to pray without ceasing. Are you abiding with Him through prayer? Are you setting aside a time everyday in which you get alone with Him in prayer?
2. Passionately worship Him.
Paul tells us in Romans 12:1: “I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
In worship, we offer ourselves completely to the Lord. Every day, we need to endeavor to put forth some vigorous acts of love towards Jesus Christ. Even during your normal day, in your secular business and employment, you need to look up to Jesus Christ in worship. In your personal devotions and with your family, worship Christ with passionate adoration that comes from a heart that is truly in love with Him! I am talking about even taking a moment right now wherever you might be and just make a commitment that you will begin to present all of who you are to Him as a living and holy sacrifice-that you will give Him 100% of who you are! I don’t know about you but the Lord has been so good to me and in turn I truly want to worship Him with my life.
3. Cultivate an attitude of thankfulness for what He has done for us.
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Jesus relinquished the glory and majesty that was His in heaven to take on the role of a lowly servant, lovingly submitting to His Father’s plan. He suffered the wrath of God on the cross-He took the penalty we ought to have suffered for our sin. He endured criticism, ridicule, unbelief, and finally humiliating death by crucifixion in order to right our relationship with God. He humbled Himself before the Father to become the Lamb of God, and He did so in full view of mankind, even when He was labeled a criminal and unjustly convicted. This wasn’t just the brutal suffering that is depicted in so many movies. Jesus, fully God and fully man, became sin so that we in exchange might miraculously become the righteousness of God. And through Him, we have God’s free gift of salvation and eternal life.
Knowing this, how could we respond any differently than to absolutely love Jesus Christ with incredible passion and be overwhelmingly thankful? Anyone who calls himself or herself a true Christian needs to remember that they were truly lost before they accepted Christ. But now because of Him, look at what a true Christian can become-in right standing before God the Father, redeemed, filled with the Holy Spirit, and living with a true purpose in life! One who is truly abiding in Christ has a grateful heart. Too be very honest with you there isn’t anything or anyone in our life that should have a place of greater importance or who deserves more thankfulness than the One who set us free from the bondage of sin and separation from God!
Let me close by asking where you are abiding? Are you abiding in anxiety, loneliness, discouragement, fear, anger, disappointment, worldliness?
Abiding in Christ is a process. So don’t get discouraged if it seems hard to understand how to get it working out in your life. Just start doing-abiding and then just rest in Him, trust in Him, and allow Him to meet with you when you abide with Him.
Pastor Brad Tuttle