Abide in Christ

So this blog post is long over due, but the meaning behind these words are so meaningful to me that I couldn’t not post this.

So I have been obsessed with the word abide for over a year now everything from the sound of the word off someone’s lips to the definition gives me joy. You can find me sitting in class writing the word abide on my wrist as I pretend its tattooed on me.

This summer I had the opportunity to be a boat leader for the annual houseboats summer trip my church puts on for high schools. As I learned more about this trip I found out the theme was “ke aloha” which means Beloved in Hawaiian. I later learned that the speaker was basing his message on the word ABIDE. That’s right he wasn’t just going to talk about abide for one night but his five messages that he would be giving were all focused on the single word based from the scripture in John chapter 15. I was stoked!!!

The word abide is such a rich word. It comes from the greek word meno which means to spend time in. The definition is to spend time with, walk with, marinate in, attach to, walk with, listen to, dwell in, and journey with.

This definition shows me that it takes time and devotion to abide in Christ. But I still had an unanswered question: How do we abide in Christ?

Tyler Scott, the speaker broke it down in such a practical way that will stick with me forever. He broke it down by dissecting each letter of the word.

Attach yourself to Jesus. Jesus will always be the right thing to attach to and abide in. Through Him we will bear fruit. With this, we must first detach ourselves from the things that hurt us and grab on to Jesus.

Bring your Burdens. Burdens are BIG, RELEVANT, and REAL. We all have burdens. Now you may be thinking what do we do with our burdens and how is this relevant to abiding.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Bringing our burdens is an important step to abiding in Christ. Giving our burdens to Christ is not easy and is not a one time deal. We have to give them continually. But through praying about it, reading what God has to say about our burdens, and sharing them in the midst of community (sharing each other’s burdens) we can begin to Abide in Christ

Invest your Time. This step is a key to growth. As humans, our deepest desire is to find a love that will last. It gives me hope to know that God loves me with an everlasting love. The key to abiding in Christ is to build a relationship. All relationships take time. But is promising to know that time with Jesus is NEVER wasted time. Relationships also take trust. Trust is earned through truth and time spent with each other (Trust = Truth + Time). A relationship with Jesus takes trust, but through spending TIME with Him, who is TRUTH, one can begin to trust HIM. I am bad at this and can be working on this more, but the #1 habit is to spend time in God’s word and to use that time to learn all about Him, find wisdom with all of my decisions, and learn to trust HIM.

Decide to Follow. Tyler brought up an interesting point that I never fully realized. NOW affects LATER. The choices and decisions I make to today will affect later. It is important to make wise decisions. The framework that I want to live by when making a decision is to ask myself: is this wise based on my past experiences, present realities, and future hopes & dreams? Making the decision to follow Christ is one of the biggest and wisest choices one can make. As a Christian I want to continue to make wise choices. In proverbs, wisdom is the person of Jesus. So by following and abiding in Christ I will be pursuing the wise choice.

Enjoy life with Christ. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11 Now you may be asking yourself like I did when I read this verse, How do you get that kind of joy. Well the first way is by plugging in through reading God’s word, going to youth group and church, and just talking to others about what God is doing in your life. The other way is by partnering up. In proverbs it talks about how two are better than one and it is important to have someone alongside of you, holding you accountable as you are fighting back Satan and trying to pursue Christ. It is also important to know that God is filled with overwhelming grace and that when we wander He will still have his arms open for us.

I just love how we unfolded what it means to Abide in Christ by breaking it down by each letter.

It is no suprise to me that the single word abide can give me so much joy because when I am truly abiding in Christ I am filled with joy.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 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.

“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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

-John 15:1-11

Advertisements

A Time For New Beginnings

Today is day 30 of my 40 days of preparation. As I have not posted how I have been preparing, I have been in meditation, reflection, and preparation for the new school year. August is a time for new beginnings. Today, I focused on new beginnings and goals for the coming year. My fear is that I will become too busy. I may be busy with good things, but I have learned that sometimes the devil uses the good things to block me from the BEST things. I am worried that my busyness will keep me from resting in Christ. I may be His witness and servant, but I am also His daughter and need to spend time with just Him. These two quotes were a real help to me as I became anxious and fearful of the new year, and I hope that they may help others.

Action without reflection can easily become barren and even bitter. Without the space for self examination and the capacity for rejuvenation, the danger of exhaustion and despair is too great. Contemplation confronts us with the questions of our identity and power. Who are we? To whom do we belong? Is there a power that is greater than ours? How can we know it? Our drivenness must give way to peacefulness, and our anxiety to joy. So concerned with effectiveness, we learn instead to be content with faithfulness. Strategy grows into trust, success into obedience, planning into prayer.
Jim Wallis in the Soul of Politics page 200

Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you; I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures. I wish no more that this , O Lord, into your hands I commend my soul; I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into you hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence. -Charles de Foucauld