Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, August 8, 2017
This is devotional thought number 46 in our devotional series, “Essentials of Faith.” Our subject is: Growth in Him
Here’s the question for consideration: How do I abide in Christ?
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:6–8).
There are so many how-to books, articles, and video channels out there. You can learn how to fix a car, build lean muscle on a vegan diet, learn how to use a professional app, or build a cabinet with no nails, all while eating lunch. One of the things we often shroud in mystery, however, is how to abide in Christ. I listen to some of my fellow Bible teachers complicate the matter when they over expound texts of Scripture and leave out the actual “how.” Let’s keep it simple, shall we?
Paul said that the key to abiding in (or walking in) Christ is remembering how you received Him in the first place. Do you remember the day you finally decided to give God a try? What were your first steps? You probably responded to a Holy Spirit guided yearning for a new life, at first. You realized that something needed to change if you were ever going to inherit eternal life.
You confessed your known sins, asked God for help to do the right thing everyday, and learned how to worship Him. You, no doubt discovered how invigorating giving thanks was. You certainly learned how to praise Him for being beneficent and merciful. You learned how much of a blessing being a blessing to others was. And as you tried to help others, you realized how much help you needed from God so you could continue to help them.
You learned how to talk to God in private prayers about all that was on your mind, including petitioning Him on behalf of others. You discovered that you absolutely loved Him when you considered how good He had been to you, even through your difficult times.
You found comfort, guidance, hope, and peace as you read and studied the Bible in those days. You learned that the only way you could receive God’s strength to get through life, temptations, and rough relationship issues, and more, was to extend the faith God gave you and lay hold of His strength. You learned that His strength was made perfect in your weakness. You accepted that having the righteousness of Christ was the only way you’d get into the kingdom of glory.
Revisit the Waymarks
How is it with you now? Do you daily visit these foundational waymarks in your walk with God or have you complicated it like so many others have?
Do not allow anyone, even you, to spoil the simplicity of getting into God’s presence everyday and allowing Him to teach you what you need to know and do during that day.
Do not allow anyone to deceive you into taking over the reins of your life when you promised to submit them to God to steer you into any direction He wills.
You began your relationship with God by simple faith and trust in God; continue that way until He comes. Yes, you will experience bigger trials to match your spiritual growth, but the same God who found you will lead you in His paths of righteousness. So, put away your good person checklist, keep your eyes focused on Christ, and let Him give you deep roots, build you up and establish you in the faith, and help you abound in thanksgiving as He continues to teach you His ways.