ABIDING IN CHRIST

 Job 15:15,16 “Behold He putteth no trust in His saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in His sight.  How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water.”

The greatness of Almighty God!                                                                                                With Job I cry, “Behold I am vile.”  My prayer is, “How can I please Thee?  Behold I am vile.  In my flesh dwelleth no good thing.  I am undone!  Oh God, finish my undoing completely so there will be nothing left of me, and so I will be conformed to the Image of Christ.  Oh my Father, I want to please Thee.”

In a moment He responds, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am WELL- PLEASED!  If you be in Christ in whom I am well-pleased, you are a new creature.   Old things are passed away.  Behold, all thing are become new.”

“Ah, yes Lord, but to dwell IN CHRIST!  Teach me how.”

“Abide in Him,” comes the answer.

“And how does the abiding come about?”

“If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love.”

“What have you commanded, Lord?”

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn. 15:12)

“How do You love me, Lord?”

“As the Father loves Me, that’s how I love you.”  (Jn. 15:9)

“You mean I’m to love others with the same love that Almighty God has for His only begotten Son?  But that is impossible!  Impossible!  How could it be?”

“I am the true vine, My Father is the husbandman.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  Your life is coming from Me.  Therefore your love is coming from Me; and the Father, the husbandman, is attending lovingly to His vineyard.  When He sees the leaf drooping, and the leaf asks for water, He gives that water to the Vine which carries it to the leaf.  “Whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My name will be given unto you.”

Asking in Jesus’ name is asking that God give us our requests through the Vine in whom we are abiding, and from whom comes all our  life, strength, love and fruit.  What a complete unbroken circle!

INASMUCH

My heart cries out in yearning love and tenderness, with deep desire to have stood by, in faithfulness and consolation, when Jesus was forsaken by those who were His friends and followers, so abused by the soldiers, accused by the religious leaders, delivered over by Pilate to be mercilessly nailed to the cross.  I would want to stand, fully knowing all that I know now, and realizing that “these things must needs be,” though that knowledge would have torn my heart out; knowing that if I were able to speak the word of persuasion that would have set Him free, then God’s holy purpose for sending His dear Son would be aborted.  But to just stand there and let it happen….Oh!….more than a human heart can bear!

But Oh!  To have been there, that by the contact of our eyes across rebellious heads, the touch of a hand in tender understanding, the comfort of the presence of one who loves Him, that somehow His aloneness might have been alleviated!

Then He gently reminds me, if I could have been there and stood steadfastly with Hm, it would have hindered God’s purpose. Jesus had to go through Gethsemane and the crucifixion alone.  He suffered the horrendous agony of being separated from God.  If I could have comforted Him or eased His grief, then I would have become a contributing part in His act of redemption, when it had to be His work alone.  The pain had to be His alone; the separation had to be His alone; the grief had to be His alone; the agony had to be His alone.  And how could I possibly have given Him any comfort when it was my sin that put Him there?  It was the work God had given Him alone to do, and He finished the work fully….alone.

Then He comforts me by letting me know that there is a way to project, even across the centuries of time, that ministry of love and faithfulness to Him.  “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto Me.”  There are so many opportunities surrounding me daily to minister love, compassion, understanding, and help to others in Jesus’ dear name.  This by-passes the human recipient, leaving its sweet residue to minister to each one’s need, but ascends like a fragrant incense into the courts of Heaven where Jesus whispers, “Ye have done it unto Me.”

 

 

 

ABIDE IN ME

Colossians 2:9 tells us that in Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  So God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit all have residence in the body of Christ.

Colossians 3:3 says that our lives are hid with Christ in God.  And in 1:27 it says “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Since Christ dwells within us, and He holds the Godhead in residence, would it not be feasible to believe that the Shekinah glory ought to be able to radiate through our lives?  Why do we not see more evidence of His presence in the lives of believers?  If we are in full communion with God, wouldn’t there be a “shine” to our lives, even as Moses’ face shone when he came down from the mountain?  Are we so caught up in the struggle with just surviving from day to day that our lives have become tarnished, even as a piece of silver which has been left untended, and no longer reflects its beauty?

My heart cry is, “God, in every situation in life, help me to be aware of Your presence, permeating all.  May I be more aware of Your presence than I am of the person next to me, so that as I inhale, I will be breathing You into my life; as I exhale, I will be breathing You out to those around me,  issuing forth the sweet aroma of Your presence.  May Your Shekinah glory radiate out through my life so that You may strengthen, encourage and bless those around me.

THE MOUSE

Again today let’s have a bit of tongue-in-cheek levity.

The first poem I ever wrote was for an assignment in my sophomore English class in high school.  The teacher read it aloud to the class but had serious trouble doing it as she was laughing so hard.  Well, she gave me an A so that was encouraging.  Here it is:

In a dear little corner of  her middle-sized house

Her smart little puppy discovered a mouse.

She picked up the sweeper, the mousie ran out.

Her puppy, he followed that mouse with a shout.

Then into the woodbox the mousie did jump,

But the missus and puppy dug in with a thump.

To catch that old mousie and make him repent

Was the missus’ and puppy dog’s full intent.

When he was discovered, he jumped out and ran

To the parlor so he’d not get knocked on the pan.

By this time the missus was near scared to death,

So she jumped on the table to catch her breath.

Her daughter who had not been feeling well

Thought she’d try to ring mousie’s tolling bell.

But under the piano ran that little scamp.

“Twas his intent that here he might camp.

But when the piano was moved, he came out

And ran to the bedroom with a weak, squeaky shout

Where the puppy found him, but lost him again,

So you see, poor puppy dog’s work was in vain.

By this time the daughter had fetched their big broom,

And mousie was found once more in the room.

Then down came the broom on that poor little mouse,

And the only stove poker they had in the house

Was jabbed in his ribs till out of his head,

And soon this poor little mousie was dead.

He was wrapped in newspaper, thrown out of the house,

And that was the last of this poor little mouse.

 

 

CHAINED TO MY DESK

A pastor commented to me with an inward groan that there were times when he felt like he was chained to his desk as the pastoral burdens weighed him down. These thoughts came to me:

“Chained to my desk!” moaned the Pastor.
“I’m chained! and I long to be free.
There are heights I am longing to conquer!
There are fields that are beckoning me.
The sheep in my flock, as I tend them
Are often so stiff-necked and slow.
They’re mired in a slough of lethargy
As I struggle to teach them to grow.”

But HE answered, “These sheep in My pasture
Are searching for comfort and peace;
And the chains that confine you so tightly
Are to them a sweet balm of release.
I know the discouraging trials,
The frustrating pathways you take.
I too, walked the road of a Shepherd.
But would you stay bound for their sake”

My station was high and exalted,
But I suffered infinite loss.
Instead of the glories of Heaven,
My life here was chained to a cross.
But there’s glory ahead for the faithful.
My glory with them I would share.
And a golden reward you may cast at My feet
When you’ve lost every heartache and care.”

“Chained to my desk,” said the Pastor,
But gone every trace of a frown,
For the chains had taken a golden hue—
“Chained to my desk—by a CROWN!”