When it comes to Christianity and the Bible, some topics get all the attention—like the apocalypse, the latest social justice issue, or heaven and hell.
“Abiding in Christ” is not usually on that list. And yet, Jesus tells us to do it. “Abide in me, and I in you” (John 15:4).
It’s about closely cultivating your enduring bond with Jesus over time. Closely (not remotely) cultivating (not ignoring) your enduring bond (not your occasional interest) with Jesus (not with someone else) over time (not your fleeting fancy).
One of the ways we do this is through the spiritual practices God has given to us. These include (but are not limited to) prayer, Bible reading, worshiping with God’s people, serving others, fellowship, fasting, etc.
Today I encourage you to take that time seriously. Be truly present. This isn’t about adding more to your to-do list or even taking more time, but being truly present in the time you’re already taking. You’ve already worked some of these things into your schedule, so why not use this time wisely?
This is one of the ways we abide in Christ. When we don’t take advantage of that time, or when we are perpetually distracted or disinterested, it’s as if we behaving as if Jesus isn’t really there.
A word is used when someone is with us and we ignore them: Rudeness.
But when we draw near to God, he draws near to us (James 4:8). Plus, God is personally present within believers in the person of the Holy Spirit!
This is essential to remember as you abide in Christ through your spiritual practices. “Lord, you are important enough to me that I’m going to be present to you.”
Be present in the time you’re already taking.
–Sermon on John 15:1-17: “Tarrying with a Lord you cannot see.” Click here to watch or listen.
–Bible study podcast on John 15:1-17: “Abiding in Jesus the true vine, and bearing his fruit.” Click here to listen or subscribe to ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ wherever you listen to podcasts.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.