Jesus gave His followers a very interesting command in John 15:4. He said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” We are to “abide in Christ” and He promises to Abide in us. But what does the word abide mean and what does it mean to abide “in Christ?” How do we do this? What does abiding in Christ look like in our everyday life? Obviously, it affects our ability to bear fruit, but what exactly does that mean. If you’re like me – I think it’s time that we learn as much as we can about “abiding in Christ” especially because this was a command for us to follow. We need to understand this command and obey it and find out for ourselves if “abiding in Christ” makes a difference in our lives.
Are you exhausted and worn out from all of your activities? Everyone in today's world seems to need some rest, but we must be careful that we rest in Christ and not from Christ. In Mark 6:31, Jesus said to His disciples, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Jesus still calls us to come away with Him, which is the only place we can find true rest for our physical bodies and for our mental, emotional, and spiritual needs as well. Make it a point to spend time with God every day. Read His Word, think about what you read, and then pray about what God has revealed to you through His Word. You will be amazed at how spending time by yourself with Jesus will refresh you and will give you the rest and regeneration that you need. Give God the opportunity as you rest with Him to transform your entire life as He renews your thought processes and your energy.
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him." Psalm 62:5
In Biblical times, a person’s name conveyed a great deal of information and this is especially true of Jesus. There are so many names of Jesus in the New Testament that we could spend several months studying them. However, we are going to try to focus on the more familiar names that we hear and learn how each of His names gives us a clearer picture of who Jesus is and what He has provided for all of mankind. We also need to understand why the “name of Jesus” is so important. For example, one of the most important reasons for us is found in the following verse.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
One of the questions many people ask is, “How can people in the 3rd world countries or tribes in Africa, or South America, etc. ever hear about God?” Some people may even wonder if God is being “fair” because there would be no way for people who do not have access to television, telephones, or the Internet to hear the Gospel message or ever have an opportunity to be saved and eventually go to heaven. However, God’s Word reveals that God took care of this possibility from the very beginning. In fact, it is amazing to discover the number of times that the Bible proves to us that no one can ever use the excuse that “they just didn’t know about God.” In fact, every person that can feel the sun on their face or can see the stars in the sky has been given knowledge about God because “the Heavens Declare His Glory.”
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1
When we become a believer – a follower of Jesus Christ – we receive many benefits. The Holy Spirit comes to live within our hearts, and we receive Salvation, the forgiveness of sins, and the promise of eternal life. The Holy Spirit begins to work in our lives to grow the various types of His fruit such as love, joy, peace, etc. and we are given spiritual gifts that are to be used to bring glory and honor to God. But have you ever stopped to consider that because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, that we also receive the mind of Christ? God’s Word has a great deal to say about the mind.
Have you allowed the mind of Christ to infiltrate your thoughts? Are you allowing the Lord to guide and instruct you? Do you look at situations in your life from His perspective? It is an incredible thing to discover how different our lives can be when we have “the Mind of Christ.”
“For who has known the mind of the Lord that He may instruct him? But we have the Mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16
What’s in a name? More than we might ever imagine. A name is a label or identifier that sets one person apart from another. In biblical times, a person’s name described his character. Knowing a person’s name was considered a privilege that revealed insight into a person’s life. The same is true for the names of God. Each name of God reveals a different aspect of His character and a different role that He performs in our lives. It is very much the same for humans, because we are made in His image. For instance, I am a wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, teacher, mentor, friend, student, bookkeeper, and so forth, and within each of these names, my role is different. It’s truly amazing how we tend to depend on our own limited and often fragile ways of dealing with life and fulfilling each of the roles we have been given, but God’s Word tells us that He wants us to depend on Him. The more we understand about God through His names, the better we will know Him. Then, it will be easier for us to surrender control and allow Him to work in our lives, giving us His strength, as we learn to “Trust in His Name.”