Sunday, November 8, 2009

Remain in Him-- A work in progress as He reveals more

 I was reminded recently as I was reading the Word, of the importance of remaining in Him.  In the gospel of John and the letter from John, we are told to dwell in the Lord's presence.  We are to remain there--to allow His words to take up residence in our hearts. I've been asking the Lord to teach me what it means to remain in Him.  This is what I've learned so far.

Why should you remain in Him?
  • In His presence is fullness of Joy
  • In order to bear much fruit:  the fruit of the Spirit-- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  I certainly need more of this fruit in my life.
  • So that  we are effective and productive in our work
  • We can ask anything and receive it
  • To glorify the Father (when we bear much fruit, we glorify Him)
  • To show that we are indeed His disciples

How do we remain or live in His presence?  By Obeying His commands.   
 Obedience is an outward expression, of our heart's surrender. We must say yes to Him in ALL that He commands, and trust that He will accomplish All that He set forth to accomplish in our lives.   He promises to give grace to those who humble themselves before Him.  Lay aside your own desires, your ideas, your agenda, and bow down to the King of Kings!  Give your life as a living sacrifice to our Great and Glorious Lord.

What are His commands?

  • Trust Him
We continue to trust the Lord in ALL areas of our lives, starting with our eternal destination and spreading to every area of our lives: marriages, parenting, health issues, changing us, changing family members, the government, material provision, our church, on, and on.  He wants us to trust Him.  He commands us to trust Him.  He has proven over and over that He is trustworthy.

  • Love Others--especially our brothers and sisters in the Lord
 Loving others means pursuing unity and peace.  Loving others means treating others better than ourselves.  It means looking out for the interest of others rather than thinking about our own interests. It means serving without looking for anything in return. It means laying down your life, for others. It's willing to confront, and to make itself uncomfortable in order to benefit the other person.  It's loving others as Jesus loves us.

  • Tell others about Jesus
Jesus has given us a mission:  Go and make "Jesus-followers" from every nation and teach them everything that He commanded.

This is a beautiful cycle.  We can't obey, unless He enables us.  So we must pursue Him.  And there is the essence of remaining in Him.  We pursue Him, we submit our will to His, he enables us to obey, he produces abundant fruit, we look more like Him, others know that we are His disciples, many are drawn to Him through us, we are filled with joy, we ask for what we need and He gives freely,  and He is Glorified. 

  JN 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. [6] If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. [7] If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. [8] This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

    JN 15:9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. [10] If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed 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. [13] Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. [14] You are my friends if you do what I command. [15] I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. [16] You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. [17] This is my command: Love each other.

1JN 3:21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God [22] and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. [23] And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. [24] Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

May you live in His presence and His presence live in you.

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