Abide … abide … abide … ABIDE!

Abide

Dictionaries do an absolutely awful job of defining the word abide as used in Scripture.  To truly understand the concept of abiding as found in the Bible, you must look at the definition of its synonym dwell and its companion indwell

  • dwellbe an INhabitant of;  spend most of one’s life IN, exist or be situated withIN
  • indwellto exist as an INner activating spirit, force, or principle

Take a moment to consider, grasp and understand those definitions …

Now read and consider these passages of Scripture where Jesus teaches about the mutual indwelling:

Abide IN me, and I IN you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides IN the vine, neither can you, unless you abide IN me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides IN me and I IN him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:4-5

Just in case you don’t understand this, your spiritual abode is going to be fully occupied … Jesus has already moved IN … now His Father is is also moving IN …

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.  John 14:23 (NASB)

Hope you’ve got room …  Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit also dwells IN you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be IN you.  John 14:15-17 (ESV)

The result of this intimate abiding relationship with the triune God …

He who is joined to the Lord becomes ONE spirit with him.  1 Corinthians 6:17 (ESV)

Jesus prayed for this ONENESS

Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.  John 17:11 (ESV)

Do we truly understand that prayer?  Jesus prayer is that the body of believers … the bride … the church … should be ONE … should experience the same identical ONENESS with God … as already exists IN the relationship between Father, Son and Spirit as God.

WOW! WOW! WOW!

And what family abode is complete without love … the perfect bond of unity (see Colossians 3:14)?

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide IN my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide IN my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide IN his love.  John 15:9-10 (ESV)

Perfectly modeled for us in the earthly life of Jesus …

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides IN us and his love is perfected IN us.  By this we know that we abide IN him and he IN us, because he has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides IN him, and he IN God.  So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides IN love abides IN God, and God abides IN him.  1 John 4:12-16 (ESV)

Yes, I do believe repetition is indeed the best teacher … but we’re not done yet.

As a part of the New Testament or New Covenant, God made plans for an online, real-time, living and active library in His spiritual abode … God’s temple …

“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law withIN them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  Jeremiah 31:33 (NASB)

While a lot of folks own books and have their own bookshelves and mini-libraries, ownership is not the same as abiding …

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide IN my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:31-32 (ESV)

I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides IN you, and you have overcome the evil one.  1 John 2:14 (ESV)

Let what you heard from the beginning abide IN you. If what you heard from the beginning abides IN you, then you too will abide IN the Son and IN the Father.  And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.  I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.  But the anointing (of the Holy Spirit) that you received from him abides IN you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing (of the Holy Spirit) teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide IN him.  And now, little children, abide IN him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.  1 John 2:24-28 (ESV)

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide IN the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides IN the teaching has both the Father and the Son.  2 John 1:9 (ESV)

Wow, talk about a full house … so how does this moving day … this moving IN of God get started?

Well, it begins with repentance …

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.  2 Corinthians 7:10 (NASB)

In godly repentance we turn away from something and turn to someone … we turn away from our devotion to sin and we turn in faith to Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  Then …

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  John 3:5-8 (NASB)

Rarely when someone moves in to live with us do we simply have idle extra room … we basically have to do some cleanup … make some room … fortunately Jesus is in charge of this.  In the words of John the Baptist …

He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease.”  John 3:30 (NASB)

And the subsequent result of repentance, rebirth, increase/decrease and God’s indwelling presence …

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives IN me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith IN the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  Galatians 2:20 (NASB)

May you and I find ourselves blessed by God’s divine occupation!

Bernie

About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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6 Responses to Abide … abide … abide … ABIDE!

  1. abundantlife says:

    Thank you, God, for grace upon grace! Thank you for the mystery and beauty of your holy presence in us, those who believe. Help us abide in YOU, the author and finisher of our faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

    Bless you!

  2. Sandy B. says:

    Good words, Bernie! I have one more thing to say regarding your daughter, I have my own version of a similar situation with one of my own children, and one thing I believe is that I’m meant to be the parent I am IN Christ. Trust in God’s abiding presence IN you to direct your relationship with your daughter and don’t put yourself in someone else’s box. We put our hope in God, even when what we see doesn’t look like progress. You don’t have to agree with her choices to love her.

    • bwebbjr says:

      Excellent, excellent, excellent advice Sandy … hopefully what you have shared here is what will be revealed as this blog series proceeds … and one day soon may we both be celebrating the return of our prodigals … thanks for openly sharing your situation, experience and insights my dear sister.

      Be blessed IN Christ Jesus!

      Bernie

  3. jimdavenport says:

    Bernie, what a clear rendering of what it truly means to have God IN you … abiding, indwelling, living inside, acting through, loving through, thinking through, speaking through, loving through, disciplining through … Never originating from you and always from Him … No finer sermon could be spoken than what the Word has spoken here through you. My prayer dear brother IN Christ is that I will both abide IN Him and He IN me!! Lord, this I pray in Your precious Name, Amen, and Amen!!

    • bwebbjr says:

      Jim, as we discussed this morning, all praise, honor and glory goes to God for anything revealed in this post … first off, because it is His divine plan and secondly, because the Holy Spirit continues to teach and speak through men even today. This post from start to finish only took about 90 minutes to come together from scratch … I certainly will not claim any creative credit for being so insightful. May be both find ourselves abiding IN Christ, His love and His words!

      Bernie

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