ADIBING IN CHRIST

CHRIST – MY STRENGTH

“It was thus with the disciples….when they were prepared, the baptism of power came.  It was power within and power around.  The power came to qualify for the work to which they had yielded themselves…The power came to set up the Kingdom within them….” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p180).

As it was with the disciples, so it is with us.  “…all our strength is in Christ, laid up and waiting for use….ready to flow in according to the measure in which it finds the channels open….” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p183).

“The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him….The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him.  We are not sent to battle for God, but to be used by God in His battlings” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Jan 18th).

It is prudent to check often whether we are working or allowing JESUS to work.  Andrew Murray warns: “You are so occupied and filled with other things, religious things, preaching and praying, studying and working, so occupied with your religion that you do not give God the time to make himself known” (ref#272, p47).

“What Christ died for is not that we might help him, but that we might see and savor him as infinitely valuable” John Piper (ref#92, p83).

“…when God and man are spoken of as working together, there is nothing of the idea of a partnership between two partners who each contribute their share to a work.  The relation is a very different one.  The true idea is that of cooperation founded on subordination.  As Jesus was entirely dependent on the Father for all His words and all His works, so the believer can do nothing of himself” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p117).

FATHER, how easy it is for me to skip the step of allowing CHRIST to make Himself known.  It is so much easier to do what I think the boss wants and hope that he likes it, as it is to take the time to directly ask. Keep me fearing You.

ABIDING IN CHRIST

CHRIST – ALL SUFFICIENT POWER

“The Christian wants to conquer his weakness and to be freed from it: God wants us to rest and even rejoice in it….The Christian thinks his weakness his greatest hindrance in the life and service of God: God tells us that it is the secret of strength and success” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p179).

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13 ESV).  “…we acknowledge that apart from Christ we can do nothing” Adolph Saphir (ref#266, p176).

“While we trust in the power of the death of Jesus to cancel the guilt of sin, we do not exercise…faith in the…living Saviour to deliver us from the bondage and power of sin in our daily life….one with Him, we possess strength sufficient to overcome every temptation….Let us most fully believe that we have and are nothing, that with man it is impossible, that in ourselves we have no life which can bring forth fruit; but that Christ is all—that abiding in Him, and His word dwelling in us, we can bring forth fruit to the glory of the Father” Adolph Saphir (rerf#266, p176-177).  “Our holiness of life has its roots in the personal holiness of Jesus. ‘If the root be holy, so also are the branches’” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p171).

Oh FATHER, on the Cross JESUS identified with me.  And now in heaven He makes it possible for me to identify with Him.  What power and love!  I desire to keep myself in CHRIST by reading Your Word.  When You speak about Your SON, provide the HOLY SPIRIT to shoot me full of faith so I grasp with clarity what You promise.  This is my foremost need.  This I plead.

ABIDING IN CHRIST

UNNOTICED ABIDING

“It is only into the thirst of an empty soul that the streams of living waters flow.  Ever thirsting is the secret of never thirsting” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p109).

FATHER, what joy I experience ever thirsting.  This You have provided without any action on my part but waiting, surrendered in Your presence.  In this waiting my soul is learning how to abandon itself completely to the keeping of CHRIST (Jude 1:21) Andrew Murray (ref#266, p109).  “It is because Jesus has taken hold of me, and because Jesus keeps me, that I dare to say: Saviour, I abide in Thee” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p28).

“Abiding in Jesus is not a work that needs each moment the mind to be engaged, or the affections to be directly and actively occupied with it.  It is an entrusting of oneself to the keeping of the Eternal Love, in the faith that it will abide near us, and with its holy presence watch over us and ward off the evil, even when we have to be most intently occupied with other things.  And so the heart has rest and peace and joy in the consciousness of being kept when it cannot keep itself….We are in Christ, kept in Him by His almighty power….Our abiding in Jesus is even more than a fellowship of love—it is a fellowship of life” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p88-89).

FATHER, as I continue to write these posts I see more and more that abiding in CHRIST is much out of my hands—that, You, as Everlasting Love, draw me like a magnet ever to You.  It’s all about You; You have chosen me and will keep me as with a magnet strong enough that either of us can ever separate ourselves from each other (Rom 8:37-39).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

ABIDING TO KEEP THE LAW

“I will make my dwelling among you…” (Lev 26:11 ESV).

For all who have not experienced abiding with the LORD, GOD is far off—in heaven holding a list of demands that they do not want to keep.

“God was not an impersonal force to be used to make people behave in certain prescribed ways, but a personal Savior who set us free to live a free life.  God did not coerce us from without, but set us free from within…” THE MESSAGE (ref#262, p 458, Introduction to Galatians).

“Love will assimilate into your inmost being the commands as food from heaven.  They will no longer come to you as a law standing outside and against you but as the living power which has transformed your will into perfect harmony with all your Lord requires” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p157).

FATHER, so the commands stay the same.  You want me to do what You have always wanted me to do—whether I’m outside looking up at You and shrinking from what You dictate, or inside (in Your presence loving You so much I’d do anything for You).

I understand that You, LORD, change my disposition if I am willing to pursue a relationship with You.  In relationship I understand the reasons for the commands and am quick to do them out of love.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”  (Rom 12:2 ESV).

I realize I must discipline myself to reach for the deeper and deeper relationship planning to obtain more and more a mind that understands more and more of You. “The progressive renewal of the Holy Spirit leads to growing like-mindedness to Christ…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p156).

FATHER, if there are some commands I shrink from I want to change that.  I want to sit more with You.  Renew my mind that I may love what You are doing and become excited to join You.

ABIDING IN CHRIST

THE SAME DISPOSITION AS CHRIST

“The disposition He manifested in choosing and bearing the cross must be yours.  Like Him, you will have to give full assent to the righteous judgment and curse of a holy God against sin….Like Him, you shall experience that it is only through the self-sacrifice of Gethsemane and Calvary that the path is to be found to the joy…of the resurrection life” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p77).  “…let us…bear the reproach he endured” (Heb 13:13 ESV).

“Like Him, you have to consent to yield your life, as laden with sin and curse, to death, and through it to pass to the new life” (ref#266, p77).  “What God wants is the sacrifice through death which enables us to do what Jesus did, viz., sacrifice our lives.  Not—I am willing to go to death with Thee, but—I am willing to be identified with Thy death so that I may sacrifice my life to God” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Jan 8th).  Let us present our bodies as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1).

FATHER, grant me a disposition to die.  You have put the desire in me; now aid me to bring it to fruition.  I run to Your SON who has died—I run to Him to show me how it is done.  “I must gaze on Him on the Cross…to make me partaker of the full power of His death to sin, and the new life of victory…I must yield myself to Him in an undivided surrender, with much prayer and strong desire, imploring to be admitted into the ever closer fellowship and conformity of His death…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p77).

“…we know that He is in us, if we wait and pray to be filled with Him, He will teach us how to abide.  First, guiding our will to a whole-hearted cleaving to Christ, then quickening our faith into ever larger confidence and expectation, then breathing into our hearts a peace and joy that pass understanding…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p114).

“So the Lamb of God shed his blood that we might defeat the devil by trusting his blood and shedding ours.  Jesus calls us onto the Calvary road.  It is a hard and good life.  Come” John Piper (ref#92, p95).

“’I want the everlasting God to come in and take such hold of me that I may be kept in the hollow of His hand all my life…that every moment He may work all in all in me’” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p45).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

UNITED AT THE CROSS

“Abide in Christ: and your cross becomes the means of fellowship with His cross” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p125).

“…the Calvary road is where everyone meets Jesus…” John Piper (ref#92, p94).

FATHER, the Cross is where I meet CHRIST; it is the place where I can reach out my hand and touch His for it is there He was obedient in His suffering (Heb 5:8) and, being tempted as I, able to sympathize with my weakness (Heb 4:15).  Truly He proved He is the SON of Man and is still the SON of Man abiding in me.  FATHER, You have showered upon me grace upon grace by giving Your Son.  “He can be nearer to me than anything in the world…” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p41).

On the Cross the Son of God enters into the fullest union with man—enters into the fullest experience of what it says to have become a son of man, a member of a race under the curse” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p77).

“…my curse pointed Him to the Cross as the only place where He could be fully united to me, His blessing points me to the Cross too as the only place where I can be united to Him” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p78).

“…there is but one place which is both His and mine—that place is the Cross.  His in virtue of His free choice; mine by reason of the curse of sin.  He came there to seek me; there alone I can find Him.  When He found me there, it was the place of cursing; this He experienced, for ‘cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.’  He made it a place of blessing; this I experienced, for Christ has delivered us from the curse, being made a curse for us.  When Christ comes in my place, He remains what He was, the beloved of the Father; but in the fellowship with me He shares my curse and dies my death.  When I stand in His place, which is still always mine, I am still what I was by nature, the accused one, who deserves to die; but as united to Him, I share His blessing, and receive His life” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p78).

“He took my cross for His own; I must take His Cross as my own…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p78).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

BEARING THE CROSS

“…when Christ meets a person today it is always on the Calvary road—on the way to the cross” John Piper (ref#92, p94-95).

The question I should always ask is how do I view my afflictions?  Do I consider ordinary afflictions of life, like everyone else in the world has, as my share of Christ’s Cross? Andrew Murray (ref#266, p79).

JESUS experienced afflictions walking the earth; do I have similar ones?  What does “bearing the cross” really mean?

“…bearing the cross means likeness to Christ in the principles which animated Him in His path of obedience.

The entire surrender of all self-will,

the complete denial to the flesh of its every desire and pleasure,

the perfect separation from the world in all its ways of thinking and acting,

the losing and hating of one’s life,

the giving up of self and its interests for the sake of others—

this is the disposition which marks him who has taken up Christ’s Cross, who seeks to say, ‘I am crucified with Christ; I abide in Christ, the Crucified One.’” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p79).

“…when each is prepared to be known as the repentant sinner he is at the Cross of Jesus” Roy Hession (ref#97, p41-42).  “…there is a great deal that has to be given up: the world, its pleasures, its favor, its good opinion.  Your relationship to the world is to be the same as Jesus’ was.  The world rejected Him and cast Him out, and you are to take up the position of your Lord, to whom you belong, and to follow with the rejected Christ.  You have to give up everything.  You have to give up all that is good in yourself and be humbled in the dust of death” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p59).

“…the only life that pleases God…is His [JESUS’] life—never our life…our self-centered life is the exact opposite of His…” Roy Hession (ref#97, p25).

“…we are not likely to be broken except at the Cross of Jesus.  The willingness of Jesus to be broken for us is the all-compelling motive in our being broken too” Roy Hession (ref#97, p23).

“I must yield myself to Him [CHRIST] in an undivided surrender” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p77, brackets mine).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

CHRIST, THE CRUCIFIED ONE

“…Jesus was willing to become…a worm and no man [Ps 22:6].  And He did so, because that is what He saw us to be, worms having forfeited all rights by our sin, except to deserve hell.  And He now calls us to take our rightful place as worms for Him and with Him” Roy Hession (ref#97, p24, brackets mine).

“’Abide in the wounds of Jesus; there is the place of union, and life, and growth. There you shall see how His heart was opened to receive you; how His flesh was rent that the way might be opened for your being made one with Him, and having access to all the blessings flowing from His divine nature.’” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p76).

Thinking of a slip being grafted into a stem helps me see how close we become at the cross: To begin a graft the stem must be cut for room to place the newly cut slip.  Both stem and slip are injured.

“In the death of the Cross Christ was wounded, and in His opened wounds a place prepared where we might be grafted in…The wounded stem and the wounded graft are cut to fit into each other, into each other’s likeness.  There is a fellowship between Christ’s sufferings and your sufferings” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p76).

JESUS suffered on the Cross; and for me, my self-serving self must die.  “…when I follow Jesus…the old self-determining, self-absorbed me must be crucified” John Piper (ref#92, p95).  “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,” (Rom 6:5 NASB).

This is my goal: to be in His likeness in death as well as resurrection.  Only then will I be able to walk with Him in “newness of life” (Rom 6:4).