Andrew Murray - During the life of Jesus on earth, the word He chiefly used when speaking of the relations of the disciples to Himself was: ‘Follow me.’ When about to leave for heaven, He gave them a new word, in which their more intimate and spiritual union with Himself in glory should be expressed. That chosen word was: ‘Abide in me.’ It is to be feared that there are many earnest followers of Jesus from whom the meaning of this word, with the blessed experience it promises, is very much hidden. While trusting in their Saviour for pardon and for help, and seeking to some extent to obey Him, they have hardly realized to what closeness of union, to what intimacy of fellowship, to what wondrous oneness of life and interest, He invited them when He said, ‘Abide in me.’ This is not only an unspeakable loss to themselves, but the Church and the world suffer in what they lose." … If, in our orthodox Churches, the abiding in Christ, the living union with Him, the experience of His daily and hourly presence and keeping, were preached with the same distinctness and urgency as His atonement and pardon through His blood, I am confident that many would be found to accept with gladness the invitation to such a life, and that its influence would be manifest in their experience of the purity and the power, the love and the joy, the fruit-bearing, and all the blessedness which the Saviour connected with the abiding in Him." (Abide in Christ - Andrew Murray)
Since the Spirit of Truth abides with us forever (throughout eternity!) (Jn 14:16-17), as we are filled with Him and learn to depend on Him, He will enable us to abide in Christ, the Vine. And the Spirit of Christ does not just drop in occasionally, as a guest Who might come and go, but He indwells us (our body, His Temple) as a permanent Resident! And now for example, as we abide in Christ, we can practice kindness (even showing kindness to those who don't deserve it; cp Mt 5:43-48) not by self-effort but by Spirit enablement, as we abide in the Vine. As we learn to abide more and more in Christ, His fruit of kindness grows and ripens of its own accord. If you want to be kind, don't seek it as your goal, but seek to abide in Christ and His kindness will flow through you. And you become Spirit filled, Savior reflecting, self-forgetful, so that you are like of "Samuel Barnett of Toynbee Hall: "He forgot himself even to the extent of forgetting that he had forgotten." (Selwyn Hughes)
Have you ever thought what a wonderful privilege it is that everyone each day and each hour of the day has the liberty of asking God to meet him in the inner chamber and to hear what He has to say? We should imagine that every Christian would use such a privilege gladly and faithfully.
A graph of the frequency of use in Google Books published since 1800 shows that Abide is used roughly 3x less in our modern writings. And yet respected pastor Adrian Rogers considers abide to be the most important word in the Bible! One of the modern synonyms is "hang around," but I don't think that is what the Scripture was referring to! And so I began to study this small, but vital Biblical word.
Roger Palms - Life in Christ is all about abiding. It is not the fruit-producing that matters, it is the abiding. The producing comes from the Vine; the branches are only the fruit bearers. To be an abiding branch is to be a faithful branch. The fruit will come. And the fruit that is borne, whether it be large fruit or small, abundant or not so abundant, is His doing. Our role is to be attached to the Vine, to fit into our place—to abide.
Jesus desires that each of us as His disciples abide in Him, rest in Him, share His life, allow HIm to produce fruit in our life, yea, even much fruit, for in so doing the Father is glorified (Jn 15:8)
Abide (meno) in simple terms means to remain in the same place a period of time, to make one's self at home. John commands us to Abide in Him (Jesus) (1Jn 2:28), a command in the present imperative which calls for abiding to be our lifestyle, one of continuing intimate fellowship, something only possible as we learn to depend on the power of the Spirit (Jesus' example for us to imitate = Acts 10:38). We need to be continually filled by the Spirit (Eph 5:18-note) and we need to continually walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:16-note). Remember, God never commands us to do anything, that He does not also enable us to accomplish! Our daily "theme song" should be "I can't (in my power). He never said we could. But He can (in His power) and He always said He would!" Because of the New Covenant and our union with Christ, every believer "abides" in Him positionally (and eternally). However the fact that John issues the command to abide is a call for our daily experience to match our eternal position! In short, to abide in Jesus is our responsibility and requires us to make choices to facilitate our abiding.
Abide - to wait for, to endure without yielding (think of times when you are tempted); to rest; to tarry; to bear patiently;
"It’s better to wear out than to rust out,” said Rev. Henry Lyte, a beloved pastor in the fishing village of Lower Brixham, Devonshire, England. He labored there for twenty-three years, preaching, writing, and composing hymns. His lungs began to fail when he was in his early fifties; on September 4, 1847, he entered the pulpit with difficulty and preached his final sermon, planning to leave the next day for a therapeutic trip to warmer coasts. That afternoon as he walked and prayed, this hymn came to him. En route to Italy, he sent a polished copy to his wife, then he checked into a hotel in Nice where he died. His last words were, “Peace! Joy!” (Near to the Heart of God - Rob Morgan)
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
--Henry F Lyte
The Greek word meno means to remain, stay, to stand fast, dwell, abide, continue, wait, last, endure, be permanent.
The Amplified version of 1Jn 2:27 has "so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him]… "
In classic Greek meno frequently carries the metaphoric meaning of being in a “sphere” or quality of life.
Psalm 9:7 But the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment,
Psalm 33:11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
Psalm 89:36 "His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me.
Psalm 102:12 But You, O LORD, abide forever, And Your name to all generations.
Psalm 111:3 Splendid and majestic is His work, And His righteousness endures forever.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.
Psalm 112:3 Wealth and riches are in his house (the man who fears the LORD - Ps 112:1), And his righteousness endures forever.
Psalm 112:9 He has given freely to the poor, His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted in honor.
Psalm 117:2 For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the LORD is everlasting (remains). Praise the LORD!
Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a man's heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand (abides for ever).
Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands (abides) forever.
Abide in the OT:
Ps 15:1 (A Psalm of David.) O LORD, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. (Observe the accepted man's walk, work, and word… Walking is of far more importance than talking. He only is right who is upright in walk and downright in honesty.)
Spurgeon - Jehovah. Thou high and holy One, who shall be permitted to have fellowship with thee? The heavens are not pure in thy sight, and thou chargest thine angels with folly, who then of mortal mould shall dwell with thee, thou dread consuming fire? A sense of the glory of the Lord and of the holiness which becomes his house, his service, and his attendants, excites the humble mind to ask the solemn question before us. Where angels bow with veiled faces, how shall man be able to worship at all? The unthinking many imagine it to be a very easy matter to approach the Most High, and when professedly engaged in his worship they have no questionings of heart as to their fitness for it; but truly humbled souls often shrink under a sense of utter unworthiness, and would not dare to approach the throne of the God of holiness if it were not for him, our Lord, our Advocate, who can abide in the heavenly temple, because his righteousness endureth for ever. "Who shall abide in thy tabernacle?" Who shall be admitted to be one of the household of God, to sojourn under his roof and enjoy communion with himself? … we shall clearly see that only our spotless Lord Jesus, and those who are conformed unto his image, can ever stand with acceptance before the Majesty on high.… Saints not only desire to love and speak truth with their lips, but they seek to be true within; they will not lie even in the closet of their hearts, for God is there to listen; they scorn double meanings, evasions, equivocations, white lies, flatteries, and deceptions. Though truths, like roses, have thorns about them, good men wear them in their bosoms. Our heart must be the sanctuary and refuge of truth, should it be banished from all the world beside, and hunted from among men; at all risk we must entertain the angel of truth, for truth is God's daughter. We must be careful that the heart is really fixed and settled in principle, for tenderness of conscience toward truthfulness, like the bloom on a peach, needs gentle handling, and once lost it were hard to regain it. Jesus was the mirror of sincerity and holiness. Oh, to be more and more fashioned after his similitude!
Ps 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide (remain, lodge, root gives us the modern Hebrew word for hotel) in the shadow of the Almighty.
Ps 125:1 Those who trust in the LORD are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever.
ABIDE, O DEAREST JESUS,
Among us with Your grace,
That satan may not harm us,
Nor we to sin give place.
Abide, O dear Redeemer,
Among us with Your Word,
Now and ever after
True peace and rest afford.
Abide with heavenly brightness
Among us, precious Light;
Your truth direct, and keep us
From error’s gloomy night.
Abide with richest blessings
Among us, bounteous Lord;
Let us in grace and wisdom
Grow daily through Your Word.
Abide with Your protection
Our Shepherd and our King,
deliver from deception
And heavenly comfort bring.
Abide, O faithful Savior,
Among us with Your love;
Grant steadfastness, and help us
To reach our home above.
CHARACTER OF ABIDING IN JESUS -
Abiding in a reciprocal relationship - He abides in us and we abide in Him. Jesus promised in John 14:23: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."
To abide in Jesus is not a static relationship but an ever deepening, joyful, vital personal fellowship with Him.
Abiding speaks of being at home with Christ, comfortable with Him, enjoying unbroken fellowship, being open, honest and transparent. Abiding means maintaining a clean conscience. Abiding means we confess our sins quickly and seek repentance earnestly, ever eager to return to our first love (Rev 2:4-note).
Who would, after seeking the King’s palace, be content to stand in the door, when he is invited in to dwell in the King’s presence, and share with Him in all the glory of His royal life? Oh, let us enter in and abide, and enjoy to the full all the rich supply His wondrous love hath prepared for us! - Abide in Christ: Thoughts on the Blessed Life of Fellowship with the Son of God
Spurgeon - “You are to take care that you abide in Christ as much as if all depended upon yourself; and yet you can look to the promise of the covenant, and see that the real reason for your abiding in Christ lies in the operation of his unchanging love and grace.”
Fruit bearing is impossible without abiding; but it is inevitable with abiding.
David Guzik - When we fail to abide in Jesus’ love, and thereby fail to keep His commandments, then we do not have the fullness of joy He promises to those who do abide in His love and obedience… To be a follower of Jesus—the Word made flesh—is to abide (to live in, to dwell in, to make your home in) His word… The freedom Jesus talks about doesn’t come from just an academic pursuit of “truth” in general; but from abiding in His word and being His disciple. There is nothing like the freedom we can have in Jesus. No money can buy it, no status can obtain it, no works can earn it, and nothing can match it. And tragically, how few Christians really walk in it! It can never be found except by abiding in God’s word and being Jesus’ disciple.
D A Carson - "No one is more miserable than the Christian who for a time hedges in his obedience. He does not love sin enough to enjoy its pleasures, and does not love Christ enough to relish holiness. He perceives that his rebellion is iniquitous, but obedience seems distasteful. He does not feel at home any longer in the world, but his memory of his past associations and the tantalizing lyrics of his old music prevent him from singing with the saints. He is a man most to be pitied; and he cannot forever remain ambivalent." (Carson)
James Smith - To be in Christ. To abide in Christ. UNION to Christ, is the most glorious privilege of a child of God. It is vital and permanent. Faith brings us to the feet of Christ, love fixes on the beauty of Christ, and the Holy Spirit becomes the bond that unites us to His person.
Being united to Christ, it becomes our imperative duty, as well as our high privilege — to ABIDE in Christ. This gives power to prayer, as Jesus says, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you — you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done for you." And this is the cause of fruitfulness. "He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without me," or severed from me, "you can do nothing." No union — no power; no union — no fruit.
To abide in Christ, is to realize Him as PRESENT with us — and to act us under His eye. An ever-present Savior is one of our greatest comforts. Realizing Him as present — we exercise faith in Him, He is the object of our confidence and trust. Realizing Him as present — we daily set our love upon Him, He is the object of our affection and delight. Realizing Him as present — we thus become zealous for Him, and diligent in His cause. Realizing Him as present — we live in fellowship with Him. This fellowship is an interchange of thought, feeling, and purpose; we drink into His Spirit, become of His mind, and naturally seek His honor. We come to Him — but it is to receive from Him; and out of His fullness we receive, grace upon grace.
We are to abide with Him — as our HEAD, who influences us; as the natural head does the body.
We are to abide with Him — as our HUSBAND, supplying us with all we need, and taking our cares upon Himself.
We are to abide with Him — as our FOUNDATION, sustaining us, and bearing the entire weight of our everlasting salvation.
We are to abide with Him — as the VINE, which renews its branches by sending up the sap which produces the buds, foliage, and fruit. We must believe in Jesus for influence, supplies, supports, and constant renewals.
To abide in Christ — is having to do with Christ every day and all the day — for all we need, desire, or hope for. As the wife abides with her husband, as the stone abides on the foundation, as the branch abides in the vine — so we must abide in Jesus. Thus piety becomes our element, spiritual things become natural, and carnal things lose their power over us. (Abiding in Christ)
HOW TO ABIDE IN JESUS -
By living today as if Christ is coming back today. Yes, enjoy life, but anticipate heaven, our permanent abode of abiding! In in every 25 verses in the NT alludes to Jesus' return, clearly a truth the Spirit desires should "marinate" our mind that it might transform our walk! If we are looking for Him, we are much more likely to be living in Him, abiding in Christ!
Take the world but give me Jesus--
In His cross my trust shall be;
Till, with clearer, brighter vision,
Face to face my Lord I see. --Crosby
Faithful and true would He find us here
If He should come today?
Watching in gladness and not in fear,
If He should come today? —Morris
Jesus may come any time, so we should be ready all the time.
Be ready for the last moment by being ready at every moment.
By Richard De Haan
Little children, it is the last hour. —1 John 2:18
A young boy was playing in his grandmother’s house near a large grandfather clock. Noontime was approaching, and when both hands of the old timepiece reached 12, the chimes began to ring.
As he always liked to do, the boy counted each gong as it sounded. This time, however, something went wrong with the clock’s inner mechanism. Instead of stopping at 12, it kept right on chiming—13, 14, 15, 16 times.
The boy couldn’t believe his ears! He jumped to his feet and ran into the kitchen, shouting, “Grandma! Grandma! It’s later than it’s ever been before!” In his excitement, the youngster expressed a truth we all would do well to consider.
It is later than it’s ever been before—in the history of the world, in the days allotted to man, and on God’s calendar of events. With each passing hour, the words of James 5:8 take on added significance: “The coming of the Lord is at hand.”
This fact is both comforting and sobering. It is reassuring to know that the day our Savior will come for us may be near. But at the same time, we must honestly ask ourselves, “Am I living in a way that will bring His commendation?” Think about it!
Remember, “It’s later than it’s ever been before!”
May I live so that I will be ready
With joy my Savior to meet,
And feel no alarm at His coming
But hasten His heralds to greet. —Anon.
Vance Havner discusses what it means to "abide in Him" (from his message on John 15:1-8) - Our relationship is fixed, but our fellowship with Him depends upon whether we abide in Him as we ought. This abiding is not a tense and strained affair, but an utter dependence upon Him for every need—feeding upon Him, drawing from Him, as the branch from the vine, all our strength and security. This abiding means obedience: "He that saith he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked" (1 John 2:6). But our greatest obedience is to abide in Him. Abiding is revealed in holy living: "Whosoever abides in Him sins not" (1John 3:6). This is not "sinless perfection," but living above willful and habitual sin. This abiding is witnessed by the Spirit: "And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us" (1 John 3:24). Abiding in Him is also the condition of answered prayer: "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7). This reminds us of the discourse on the Bread of Life in John 6. When the disciples complained that He was declaring a hard saying, He simplified it by saying: "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." So here He makes His abiding in us clearer by saying "if My words abide in you." We are to feed upon His truth, and if we do, our prayers shall be answered. This abiding is manifested in fruitfulness: "He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit" (John 15:5). Notice that the fruit-bearing is just the natural consequence of abiding. We fret and worry about results, our good deeds, our behavior (and churches bother about by-products) when our interest should be concentrated upon this focal point: to abide in Him. That is our business; all else is a natural result. (Reflections on the Gospels)
How? By cutting out non-essentials - God wants to cut back the nonessentials in our lives so that we will be more able to draw our life from one source—the Vine. This process can be painful, but it is always for our good. As we yield to God’s loving desire to snip or sever the extraneous twigs and branches in our lives, we will learn endurance and trust. Increasingly, this develops within us a calm and patient spirit—the evidence of His fruit in our lives. (Heald)
Abiding in Christ means keeping His commandments (1John 3:22).
BY RESTING -
Are you having difficulty abiding? Too many distractions? Responsibilities and burdens weighing continually on your mind? We've all been there (or more accurately ARE THERE)! Abiding seems to be an impossibility. Jesus gives us the antidote to busyness and burden bearing -- Respond to His call "Come to Me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest… " (Mt 11:28) What is this REST to which Jesus refers? Henry Drummond says Rest "is the mind at leisure from itself. It is the perfect poise of the soul; the absolute adjustment of the inward man to the stress of all outward things; the preparedness against every emergency; the stability of assured convictions; the eternal calm of an invulnerable faith; the repose of a heart set deep in God." I would add that this rest is not just "mind over matter" but is a supernatural enablement given by the Spirit of Christ as we learn to walk by His provision of power.
HOW DO WE REST?
Sit at His feet - Mary … was listening to the Lord’s word, seated at His feet. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him, and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”
Luke 10:39–40 "Jesus wants us to focus our lives on being with Him rather than on busying ourselves with doing for Him. He calls us to abide—to sit at His feet and listen to His words. Like Martha, we are called to change our center of attention from ourselves to Jesus… This change enables us to offer service freely, not grudgingly. In fact, when our first priority is abiding, we cannot help but serve the Lord. Mary’s heartfelt desire to be with Jesus later prompted her to serve Him by anointing Him with oil. Jesus praised her act and proclaimed that wherever the gospel was preached, it would be remembered (see John 12:1–3). Because Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus, when she did rise to serve Him, her ministry was profound. In the midst of our “doing,” may we stop to hear Jesus’ counsel: “But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her’ ” (Luke 10:41–42). What can I do today to choose the good part that Mary chose? (Becoming a Woman Who Walks with God: A Month of Devotionals for Abiding in Christ)
BY PRAYER - We abide by conversing with Him or as the hymn says we make a choice to "Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord; Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word."
Ken Gire - “Mary has chosen what is better…” He brings his point gently home: Fellowship with him is a matter of priorities. And a matter of choice. It’s the better part of the meal life has to offer. It is, in fact, the main course.
HYMNS RELATED TO ABIDING IN CHRIST -
I’m rejoicing night and day
As I walk the narrow way,
For the hand of God in all my life I see.
And the reason of my bliss,
Yes, the secret all is this:
That the Comforter abides with me.
He is with me everywhere,
And He knows my ev’ry care;
I’m as happy as a bird and just as free.
For the Spirit has control;
Jesus satisfies my soul,
Since the Comforter abides with me.
He abides, He abides.
Hallelujah, He abides with me!
I’m rejoicing night and day
As I walk the narrow way,
For the Comforter abides with me.
- Herbert Buffum
Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!
Well, those days are past and gone, but their memory lingers still
And the dear old Book each day has been my guide;
And I seek to do His will,
As my mother taught me then,
And ever in my heart His Words abide.
-M. B. Williams
Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
Thine, most gracious Lord,
O make me wholly Thine –
Thine in thought, in word and deed,
For Thou, O Christ, art mine.
Wholly Thine, my Lord,
To go when Thou dost call;
Thine to yield my very self
In all things, great and small.
Thine, Lord, wholly Thine,
For ever one with Thee –
Rooted, grounded in Thy love,
Abiding, sure and free.
Wholly Thine, wholly Thine;
Thou hast bought me, I am Thine;
Blessèd Savior, Thou art mine;
Make me wholly Thine.
-A S Hawks
Living in Thee, Lord, and Thou in me,
Constant abiding, this is my plea;
Grant me Thy power, boundless and free,
Power with men and power with Thee.
-Albert Simpson Reitz
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Rob Morgan - I Need Thee Every Hour - Annie Hawks of Brooklyn faithfully attended Hanson Place Baptist Church, pastored by the celebrated hymnist Dr. Robert Lowry. With his encouragement, she began writing Sunday school songs for children. “One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years,” she wrote, “I was busy with my regular household tasks. Suddenly I became so filled with the sense of the nearness of the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words, ‘I Need Thee Every Hour,’ were ushered into my mind. Dr. Lowry wrote the tune and chorus, and this hymn was first sung at the National Baptist Sunday School Convention in Cincinnati on November 20, 1872.” (Near to the heart of god: meditations on 366 best-loved hymns)
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee, O I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee, O I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
I need Thee, O I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.
BENEFITS OF ABIDING IN JESUS -
You are ready to meet Him at any time.
If we abide in Christ, our requests will be answered (John 15:7).
Abiding in Jesus gives us confidence because we know we wouldn’t change our lives substantially if we somehow knew Jesus would come back next week. We would already be abiding in Him.
Spurgeon "If you abide in the faith of Him, holding His truth, following His example, and making Him your dwelling-place, your Lord may come at any hour, and you will welcome Him.”
Alexander Maclaren commenting on Ps 15:1 (O LORD, who may abide in Your tent [tabernacle]?) wrote that - “In the gracious hospitality of the antique world, a guest was sheltered from all harm; his person was inviolable, his wants all met. So the guest of Jehovah is safe, can claim asylum from every foe and share in all the bountiful provision of His abode.” David Guzik (also commenting on Ps 15:1) adds "Since the tabernacle was the place where man met with God through the administration of the priests and sacrifice, David’s longing to abide in Your tabernacle is actually a desire to abide in the presence of God. David has in mind the life that lives in the presence of God; who walks in close fellowship with God because the heart, the mind, and the life are all in step with the heart, mind, and life of God."
When we abide in Jesus, we can be confident that He will answer our prayer to "Keep me as the apple of the eye" and to "Hide me in the shadow of His wings." (Ps 17:8).
Under His wings I am safely abiding,
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me,
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.
Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blessed.
Under His wings, oh, what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life’s trials are o’er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I’m safe evermore.
Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.
--W O Cushing
Rob Morgan adds "Rev. W. O. Cushing was hard at work in his New York church when, still in his forties, he suffered a paralysis that affected his voice. “O Lord, give me something to do for Thee,” he prayed. He started writing hymns, and soon his silenced voice was replaced with thousands of other voices singing “Down in the Valley,” “Ring the Bells of Heaven,” “When He Cometh,” and others of his three hundred hymns. When Cushing was seventy-three, Ira Sankey sent him a message, asking for “something new to help me in my Gospel work.” After reading “Hide me under the shadow of Your wings” in Psalm 17:8, Cushing penned this famous hymn, which Sankey set to music. (Near to the heart of god: meditations on 366 best-loved hymns)
Rob Morgan - Simple, daily faith saves us from chronic worry. When we abide in Christ and rest in His promises, no alarm can overwhelm us for long, and no anxiety can sustain its attack. That’s the theme of this beloved song written by Edgar P. Stites, a Civil War veteran and riverboat captain. (Ibid)
Simply trusting every day,
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Singing if my way is clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger for Him call;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Trusting Him while life shall last,
Trusting Him till earth be past;
Till within the jasper wall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
Guzik - Abide in Him: This is the way to be confident when Jesus comes. When you abide in Him, you are ready for Jesus to come at any time. The idea of living in Jesus is so important in the Bible. Paul expressed this idea in his prayer for the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:17: "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith." There are two Greek words to convey the idea of “to live in”; one has the idea of living in a place as a stranger, and the other has the idea of settling down in a place to make it your permanent home. Dwell in Ephesians 3:17 uses the ancient Greek word for a permanent home, indicating that Jesus wants to settle down in your heart, not just visit as a stranger.
This hymn by Anna Laetitia Waring speaks of some of the manifold benefits of abiding in Him…
In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear.
And safe in such confiding, for nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?
Wherever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back.
My Shepherd is beside me, and nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waking, His sight is never dim.
He knows the way He’s taking, and I will walk with Him.
Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen.
Bright skies will soon be o’er me, where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free;
My Savior has my treasure, and He will walk with me.
Ken Gire - [For] those times when you yearn for my fellowship and stand at the door and knock, grant me a special sensitivity to the sound of that knock so I may be quick to my feet. Keep me from letting you stand out in the cold or from ever sending you away to some stable. May my heart be warm and inviting, so that when you do knock, a worthy place will always be waiting.
Am I abiding in Jesus like a branch, dependent on Him for the spiritual energy to life out today, trusting in His plan, resting in His love, conversing frequently with Him, listening to Him? Or do I just visit with Jesus every once in a while throughout my busy day? Am I more like Martha who was busy and bothered by so many things or more like Martha who was seated at His feet, listening to the words fall from His lips? Am I like Job who treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food? (Job 23:12)
As we learn to abide in Christ, we are "Blessed with His presence, and need fear no evil; we are favored with His smile, and need dread no foe; we are upheld by His power, and need shrink from no trial; and we are strengthened by His grace, and need panic at no suffering." (J C Philpot)
What can I do today to choose the good part that Mary chose?
Cynthia Heald - A small seashell sits on my desk. I found it years ago while looking for unusual shells. At first glance it seems quite ordinary, but close inspection reveals that it is actually two shells-a perfectly formed, smaller one completely encased by a larger one. The inner shell is delicate and fragile; the outer shell is solid and strong. When I discovered this shell, I was captivated by how it pictures the concept of abiding in Christ. The small shell, because it is permanently fastened to the larger shell, is completely protected and secure. This is a wonderful visual image of abiding-staying, remaining, holding on to, continuing, dwelling, trusting. I keep this shell as a reminder of the value of staying close to the Lord, but Jesus uses the illustration of a living vine and its branches to teach us about abiding. He tells us that He alone is the source of abundance and growth. We are the branches, and we must stay firmly connected to the Vine in order to mature. If a branch is broken off from the Vine, it will wither. If a branch is simply near the Vine without being attached to it, it will never flourish. Only as the branch remains united with the trunk can fruit be produced. -- Lord, it overwhelms me that You never leave me or forsake me. You want to abide in me! Thank You for the reminder that I am never alone—for You are my Immanuel. AMEN
I heard the testimony of a Chinese pastor who was imprisoned for his faith. He was placed in solitary confinement because of his witness for Christ among the other prisoners. He won prisoners and guards to Christ He was not allowed to have a Bible, to pray or to sing out loud. He was given a job working alone in the cesspool. As he entered the cesspool the first time and the door closed behind him, he was all alone. Suddenly he realized what a blessing he had. Since he was alone, and no one could hear him, he could pray and sing as loud and as long as he wanted. Month after month, he enjoyed deep fellowship alone with God in the cesspool. During his testimony, he said his favorite hymn was "In the Garden."
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
C. AUSTIN MILES
Robert Neighbour-Sermons and Bible Studies - By faith Enoch walked with God. He walked with God in the midst of an age that was fast corrupting itself and turning away from Jehovah; he walked with God in the midst of his own home, where he begat sons and daughters. Surely we then may walk by faith in this our day. To be sure sin is much the same as it was in Enoch's day; but we have added light and increased blessings — should we not have a greater faith?
"Closer, Lord, to Thee I come,
Light of life Divine;
Through the ever Blessed Son,
Joy and peace are mine;
Let me in Thy love abide,
Keep me ever near Thy side,
In the "Rock of Ages" hide, —
Closer, Lord, to Thee."
DON'T BE A "SPIRITUAL VAGRANT" - And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him. Genesis 5:24 - Efficient leaders of organizations and responsible individuals set specific goals for which they constantly strive. A vagrant, on the other hand, is an extreme example of one who has no such purposes in view. He does not hold a steady job, do
es not obligate himself for the purchase and maintenance of a home, and often has no loved ones for whose future he is concerned. The utter aimlessness of such a life was strikingly demonstrated by the tramp who declined a ride someone offered him, saying, "No, thank you! I am not going any place, so I am just as well off here as I would be 10 miles farther on." All who do not believe in God are in a sense "spiritual vagrants" — living without an ultimate aim or goal. The Christian, however, knows where he is going. He also perceives his purpose — "To glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever." Moreover, Hebrews 11:1 says that a believer's faith gives him absolute assurance that he will certainly enjoy the "things hoped for," and that "the things not seen" are definite realities. For this reason he seeks to please the Lord by worshiping in an acceptable manner like Abel, by walking in fellowship like Enoch, and by working faithfully like Noah. These men believed in God and directed their efforts in doing His will. They did not wander aimlessly through life without purpose or goal. Neither should you.
Dear reader, what is your highest ambition? Are you truly seeking to glorify God and do His will, or are you a "spiritual vagrant"? When you pass from this earthly scene may it be said of you as it was of Enoch, he "walked with God."
Such be the tribute of thy pilgrim journey
When life's last mile thy feet have bravely trod—
When thou hast gone to all that there awaits thee,
This simple epitaph—"He walked with God!"
Our lives constantly manifest
what we truly think about God!
Anne Ortlund in Fix Your Eyes on Jesus has a chapter entitled "Fix your eyes on Jesus for continual fellowship with Him" - The first night I was a pastor's wife I practically didn't go to bed. Ray and the three babies and I had moved from Princeton Seminary in New Jersey to our first pastorate in Christiana, Pennsylvania, a town with eleven hundred souls counting absolutely everybody. You know how moving is. The children were finally bedded down, Buddy and Margie in their cribs and Sherry on a mattress on the floor. Then the doorbell rang, and a sad-looking lady stood there. Her mother was dying, and she didn't want to care for her alone. Would I come help? I went to Mrs. Thompson's house. We slept in snatches, but much of the time it seemed we were trying to pry mother's teeth apart to get down pills with teaspoons of water. In the morning I went home again to our new house, a little shaky in the legs. Was this how it was to be a pastor's wife? Would people call on me every night to help the dying? (Mrs. Thompson's mother died later that morning, and nobody has ever asked me to do that since.) But there was a special wonder to that first full day in the ministry. I was groggy, but I asked the Lord for His presence to be my strength, and I lived it in living color. Life was precious. Death was a reality. Somebody had truly needed me and been truly helped. The presence of the Lord was all around me, cheering me, reassuring me. I was so aware of His hand on me, His guidance, His mercy. Perhaps He made it rough on me that first twenty-four hours so that I would early on begin to fix my eyes on Him and discover His nearness, His availability … Maybe you're saying, "Be practical, Anne. How do I get this habit of being continually aware of Him?" Well, I'm still learning myself, but I do have two suggestions. First, ask Him. I know what I do when left to myself: I'm "prone to wander -- Lord, I feel it! prone to leave the God I love." Ask Him. He loves you to. Second, cooperate with Him. Vote against your natural waywardness! Keep prompting yourself, to form the habit. Ray writes "PTP" (Practice the Presence) on sticky notes and plasters them on his dashboard, desk, mirror. If he feels he's really forgetting too much, he sets his wristwatch alarm to go off every fifteen minutes. I know a housewife who's conditioned herself to remember the Lord whenever she walks through her kitchen door. I know a working gal who hears Westminster chimes every fifteen minutes from a nearby city clock, and she sings with it her own words: "I love You, Lord; Lord You are here … " And when you're conscious of Him, what do you do? Talk. "Pray continually," says 1 Thessalonians 5:17: "Help me in what I'm doing right now … " "I love You, Lord … " "Forgive me … " "Bless the person I'm talking to … " Catch the flavor of Nehemiah's inner habit: The king said to me, "What is it you want?" Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king … (Nehemiah 2:4-5). Or again, All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and oil into the storerooms. I put [certain men] in charge … Remember me for this, O my God (Nehemiah 13:12-14). It's the happiest, most comfortable life possible, keeping a running conversation going with Him. He loves it, you love it. Think of a sponge plunged into the ocean. It soaks up the sea water until it's totally saturated. Yet -- it's still a sponge. Think of yourself, fixing your eyes on Jesus. You're plunged into an awareness of His presence, surrounding you wherever you go. You "soak up" the Lord and all His characteristics until you're saturated. And yet you're still you. But this habit doesn't just "happen." It begins with desire, and it continues with discipline. It's not just automatic, it's learned -- like somebody's being initiated into a fraternity or sorority, until they're at last in the fellowship: Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all the day long; they exult in your righteousness. For you are their glory and strength (Psalm 89:15-17). The ocean becomes the sponge's very own wateriness and saltiness. The Lord becomes your very own glory and strength. You receive all your achievements, your happiness, your wellbeing from what is continually surrounding you: the presence of God Himself. You're soaking Him up! Then start right now. And check in ten minutes from now, and ten minutes after that … The presence of God in your life will become your glory and your strength. Moses insisted on it (Exodus 33:15). David wouldn't live without it (Psalm 27:8). If you don't have this glory and this strength, my friend, then you're pretty much like any other wife or bank teller or mother or corporation employee or whatever. It's either the presence of God in your life -- purifying,
empowering, continual -- or else it's just you alone trying to do the best you can. And that just doesn't make it. Does the thought of practicing His presence seem burdensome to you? Do a bird's wings weigh it down? Do yourself a favor … Do your emotions a favor … Do your physical body a favor: Fix your eyes continually on Jesus. Maybe the reason angels live forever is because their eyes are always on Him. Prayer: Lord, as I keep reading this book, may I be most conscious neither of Anne Ortlund nor of myself; may I be most conscious of You. Keep me looking at You, Lord. Teach me -- by means of these words or in spite of these words; may the teaching come primarily from You. Throughout the reading of the book, Lord, and then afterwards when I move on to other things, may I be a sponge in sea water, soaking You up! Help me to maintain the habit, both now and in the future. Keep my eyes fixed on You! In Your name, amen. "Never separate yourself from God. How sweet it is to live always near those who love us!"--Gold Dust