Abiding in Christ may not be as difficult as it may seem…
1 A wise child heeds his father’s instruction…19 a longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul…25 the righteous eat to their heart’s content…
What we read in the Bible is designed to make us pray–to go to God for clarity. Mere words cannot convey the truths that God wants us to learn and know. His Spirit wants to use what we have read to start a dialogue with us. He will guide us into all truth:
- He is our guide, Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Psalm 73:23-24
- He will guide us, But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
- Jesus is the Truth, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Otherwise, we become entrenched in our own interpretations, which, if not Spirit-led, leads to pride, arrogance, intolerance, and spiritual abuse.
1 Corinthians 8:1 gives us some clarity into what happens when we read without the Spirit’s guidance:
Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.
- The Example– Eating food sacrificed to idols; Paul understood that this food was fine, considering that the gods don’t really exist, but many were afraid because of their upbringing, and some used it as a manipulation tool.
- The Assertion– “We all possess knowledge.” This saying was what some were claiming; they either got their knowledge from their own minds (pride and delusion) or from a spirit (demon worship). Some even claimed to have secret knowledge from God–as if Paul wouldn’t know.
- The Truth– Knowledge puffs up while love builds up. This lesson teaches that knowledge without the guidance of the Holy Spirit brings a puffed-up attitude, which is pride. Pride leads to all the things mentioned earlier, including consequences on down the road.
As an example, let’s take John 15:9-12:
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
There are two commands:
- Remain in My love;
- Love each other as I love you.
There are two results:
- Closeness with Christ;
- Complete joy!
Folks, I can’t think of anything better, can you?
Abba, as I think about Your love, I relax. You have no expectations of me. You simply enjoy our togetherness. Where we move from here will be the outcome of our being together. Thank You for that. So THIS is what it means to abide in Your love… Amen.