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).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

CHRIST MY SANCTIFICATION

As a new Christian I was anxious to begin my journey toward holiness (sanctification).  I thought of it like a box that I was commissioned to fill up with activities that where like CHRIST.  That seemed logical to me.

As I filled the box I figured I’d become more and more Christ-like.  Instead, I became more and more prideful and found little joy.  (FYI.  The joy of being a successful Christian is so short lived!)

“A superficial acquaintance with God’s plan leads to the view that while justification is God’s work…sanctification is our work, to be performed under the influence of the gratitude we feel for the deliverance we have experienced” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p62).  “…we commonly think that we must get an holy frame by producing it anew in ourselves, and by pursing it and working it out of our own heart” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p67).

“The establishing in Christ is His work…But this He can do with power only as we cease interrupting Him by our self-working…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p82).  We are simply to receive that holy frame of spirit that is in CHRIST—to take it to ourselves. (ref#266, p67).

“There is no other way of our becoming holy, but by becoming partakers of the holiness of Christ.  And there is no other way of this taking place than by our personal spiritual union with Him, so that through His Holy Spirit His holy life flows into us”  Andrew Murray (ref#266, p62).

“…the Father…has grafted the life of Christ on your life.  That holy life is mightier than your evil life…that new life can keep down the working of the evil life within you” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p65).

“…the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ…” (Rom 6:23 ESV, italics mine).  Eternal life is not through CHRIST, but in CHRIST.

FATHER, let me get it in my head again—it’s being not doing.  By fellowshipping with Christ I become like Him.  The difference between being and doing is this: when I pick out some noble thing to do and work at it, it is me alone trying to be holy, but if I continually seek to be in CHRIST’s presence, anything I do will be Christlike.

ABIDING IN CHRIST

CHRIST AS MY WISDOM

“I the Preacher have…applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven.  It is an unhappy business…all is vanity and a striving after wind” (Eccl 1:12-14 ESV).

Woe is me who can never hold very long the easy yoke of CHRIST (Matt 11:29-30).  I lapse back to my own yoke—incomplete and unable t follow You, FATHER.  Using my yoke makes tasks impossible yet over and over I forget that fact.

“Why is it that the Holy Spirit cannot teach us more effectually?  No reason but this: the wisdom of man prevents it…” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p59).

“Surrender all your own wisdom…be as a docile learner…Remember that the teaching and guidance come not from without: it is by His life in us that the divine wisdom does His work….” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p54).

“…without…abiding in Christ the knowledge does not really profit, but is often most hurtful.  The soul satisfies itself with thoughts which are but the forms and images of truth, without receiving the truth itself in its power….Man seeks the knowledge first, and often, alas! never gets beyond it.  God gives us Christ, and in Him hid the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p51).

“…let us be content to possess Christ, to dwell in Him, to make Him our life, and only in a deeper searching into Him,…find the knowledge we desire” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p51).

“We often forget that the Author of our faith must also be the Preserver of it….He who built the world also upholds it….He who made us Christians must maintain us by His Spirit….it is His own work of grace that we ask Him to strengthen…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 15th PM).

“God has brought you out in conversion; it was God’s own life given you.  But you have defiled it with disobedience and unbelief.  Give it all up.  Give up all your own wisdom and thoughts about God’s work” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p59).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

ABIDING THROUGH AFFLICTION

“Every sifting comes by divine command and permission” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, June 20th AM).

“God gets us alone by affliction, heartbreak, or temptation, by disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted affection, by broken friendship, or by a new friendship” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Jan 13th).

“Delight yourself in the assurance that closer union with Him, and more abundant fruit through Him, are sure to be the results of trial” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p127).

“…prosperity and enjoyment all too easily satisfy us, dull our spiritual perception, and unfit us for full communion…It is an unspeakable mercy that the Father comes with His chastisement…and for a time lose our joy in what was becoming so dangerous.  He does it in the hope that, when we have found our rest in Christ in time of trouble, we shall learn to choose abiding in Him as our only portion; and when the affliction is removed, have so grown more firmly into Him, that in prosperity He still shall be our only joy….Christian! pray for grace to see in every trouble, small or great, the Father’s finger pointing to Jesus, and saying, Abide in Him” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p124).

“Communion with Christ is a certain cure for every ill.  Whether it is bitter sorrow or excessive pleasure, close fellowship with the Lord Jesus will remove the pain from the one and the imbalance from the other” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, March 9th PM).

“It is your greatest happiness to be impotent” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p57).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

ABIDING BETTER THAN OBEYING

“Friendship is rare on earth.  It means identify in thought and heart and spirit.  The whole discipline of life is to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ.  We receive His blessings and know His word, but do we know Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Jan 7th)?

“In order to maintain this friendship…we have to be more careful of our…relationship to Him than of any other thing, even of obedience.  Sometimes there is nothing to obey, the only thing to do is to maintain a vital connection with Jesus Christ, to see that nothing interferes with that….the greater part of the life is not conscious obedience but the maintenance of this relationship…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, March 25th).

“Conformity to live with God, is a far higher and more divine life than to live simply in submission to God” E. M. Bounds (ref#54, p51-52).

“From eternity Christ and I were ordained for each other; inseparably we belong to each other; it is God’s will; I shall abide in Christ.  It is of God I am in Christ Jesus” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p47-48).

“Most essential to the abiding in Christ is the daily renewal of our faith’s assurance, ‘I am in Christ Jesus’” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p43).

FATHER, move my thinking toward abiding instead of obeying.  When I think of obeying I default to my natural abilities to carry out Your request.  But if I can keep my eyes on JESUS…  I will gladly obey because of my love for Him.  Obeying is a natural outcome of a loving relationship.

Abiding in CHRIST means to watch and wait—observe and be with Him, and then yield myself to the SPIRIT who will work mightily in me (ref#266, p119).