Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, January 23, 2015
Based Upon John 15
Abide! While this little word only has five letters, when combined with the blessed phrase, “in Christ,” it mysteriously becomes a huge, eternal principle full of rich rewards.
It is very interesting how many of us find it difficult to stick to a plan. With the New Year’s resolution honeymoon bliss steadily wearing off, so many of us have all but forgotten the promises we made to ourselves. Instead of exercising more, some of us have slid into eating more. Instead of getting up earlier to devote ourselves to our God, many of us are staying up later, devoting ourselves to mindless activities making it impossible to rise early. Instead of being more attentive to our spouses, some of us have fallen back into being their roommates, and passing them like ships in the night.
Our loving heavenly Father has just the thing we need in order to help us keep worthy commitments—abide in Christ. You see, as long as we are living in humble submission to Christ, there is nothing [good] that is impossible for us. When we abide in Him as a healthy branch abides in the vine, we can ask anything according to His will, and He will grant it. But, the key is for us to seek His will and abide in Him at all costs.
Just how do we abide in Christ? The first thing we need to do is submit our wills fully to Him. Whenever He says that He desires a thing for us, whether we initially desire or not, we must step aside, knowing He is sovereign and has our best interest at heart.
Second, we must ask Him to make us willing to do His will. So many times people are confused about what is right or wrong, simply because they are not willing to do whatever God says. Thus, there is confusion. Being willing to do God’s will, even when it is difficult, sets us in prime position to understand His every word as He reveals it.
Last, we need to embrace the principles of thanksgiving and praise. The Bible says that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. The more we praise Him from a sincere heart, is the more of His presence we will experience. In this, we are abiding in Him. We thank Him for what He has done. We praise Him for who He is. He has done great things, and He is so good, we can scarcely articulate it. He is faithful and willing to bestow the richest blessings upon those who abide in Him.
At this point it is not hard to believe that our watchword for today is, “Abide.”