Posts Tagged abide

Heavenly Shelter

Psalm 91: 1

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91 is one of the Bible passages that it really pays to meditate on. It is such a comfort. It is, however, a bit poetic. Let’s overlay New Testament ideology with it and see if it becomes more understandable.

Since Jesus’ victory, which overcame all things on our behalf, our language has turned to expressions of being “in Christ” or “in him.” This idea is a cornerstone of New Testament theology. No longer do we strive in our own might. The key now is to rest in him. In Christ we have righteousness, salvation, redemption, victory, etc. It’s all about being in him. Jesus said he is the vine and that we must, therefore, abide in him (John 15: 4). When we abide in him, then all things are possible, and we are safe. That is what this verse in Psalm means. Those who dwell, or abide, in Jesus will be safely covered by the shadow of the Almighty. Since we are in him, then we are close enough that his shadow covers us. We are hidden from the powers of evil and chaos. The Passion Translation says it better than I can, “When you sit enthroned under the shadow of Shaddai, you are hidden in the strength of God Most High.”

Yesterday, when God brought this verse out to me, the message that came with it was, “When you abide in me, you have no reason to fear.” Trusting God and dwelling in His shelter gives us the ability to stand in confidence. God is with us and watching over us. Does that give you comfort?

The other way to apply this is to ask yourself what you are frightened over or what is holding you back. Then, purposefully, abide in the shelter of God. Pray and see yourself moving into His home. See that wherever you go, wherever He goes, His shadow is over you. You are always as close as His own shadow. Meditate and pray about being in Christ and think about God in you. This is our resting place; our safe and sturdy refuge.

The world can be a scary place, but you have a friend. You are never alone. He is with you always. Acknowledge Him and His presence. Make it point to live in Him and everything will be okay.

Who May Abide?

Psalm 15

O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; he swears to his own hurt and does not change; he does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

David asks a good question here, does he not? Who may abide with God, abide in His tent? The answer David provided is simple but certainly not easy. Can we stand up to this list? I have good news. This is not our test for abiding with the Father. Our test is only one question and it is a simple yes/no question. Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior? If you answer yes to this question then the Father has provided suitable habitation for you to live together with Him now and forever.

Our righteousness is in Jesus and him alone. All of the things David aspired to and listed for God’s people are values we should ascribe to, of course. Being accepted by Christ compels us to acts of morality, decency and ethical behavior. It should call us into the highest levels of character. However, nothing we can do on our own will win favor with God nor secure us a place in eternity. Christ is our way, the only way. His blood washes us clean and secures our place in God’s tent.

On the one hand, that takes a tremendous amount of weight and worry off of us. On the other hand, realizing the truth of this construct creates, hopefully, a desire to make Jesus’ sacrifice meaningful. It may stir up a sincere desire to do something for him, not out of duty but out of love. It makes us better people than we were on our own. There is no thank you large enough to cover what God and Jesus have done for us. I don’t think for one minute we should take for granted the gift they have given us. Equally insulting, though, is for us to try to earn it. Actually, I think it is far more egregious. Trying to earn it, is as if to say their sacrifice was not good enough, like our labor and good works could ever add anything to the blessing they have bestowed on us.

So, we revel in the grace that was poured out for us and we glorify Father and Son for making us family. We can be happy and rejoice in having a home with a loving Father. We do good because they are good and our hearts draw us to be more like them because we admire them. There is nothing left for us to earn. They have done it all. Celebrate with Father and Son in the miracle of your salvation and in your adoption as a child of the Most High and be blessed.

Inhale

Isaiah 7: 14

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

Immanuel, or Emmanuel, the name means God is with us. Right now, as you read these words, God is with you. There is a superficial understanding of this and then there is the revelation of God with you.

Most of us readily accept the name given to Jesus and its meaning which is repeated in Matthew and revealed in John. We know that Jesus came to earth and showed himself as God with humanity. I am not here to bring you this “general” understanding, though. The purpose of writing this daily devotional is to continually encourage you into a deeper relationship with this God. I want you to receive the revelation of this scripture and the name Immanuel as a personal message to you from God.

Immanuel – God with YOU! When you read the book of John you see God’s intent to be with us every minute of every day. He talks about abiding. What does that mean? He wants to move in. Wow! Right now, even as you read this, your Father is right there with you. He is so close that He hears you breathe.

God sent His son, Immanuel – God with us, so that forever and ever He could be with us. Jesus bought that for Him and for us. I love thinking of Him as being in my breath. He is that close. Inhale! God is with you.

Abiding with Jesus

John 15: 4

Abide in Me.

We know that we supposed to abide in Jesus, and we accept the idea fairly easily. However, how do you abide in him?

One of the easiest ways I know to abide in Jesus is to meditate on his Word. Meditation is dwelling mentally and spiritually with Jesus. Some of us were raised with the idea that meditation was a “new age” practice and thus forbidden to us. Well, it is only new age if you consider the Old Testament times “new age.” The first mention of meditation is in Genesis. Joshua 1: 8 records the advice God gave Joshua as he was about to take over leadership of the nation of Israel from Moses. It reads, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night.” Since this is the advice God gave Joshua, it must be good advice for us too.

Jesus is the Word (John 1: 1,14). What better way to abide in Jesus than to abide in the Word? As you ponder the Word of God, you are also effectively searching the heart of God. As you dwell on those words and thoughts, your heart and mind dwells in Jesus.

Sometimes we make Christian Theology way too hard. Christianity is really as simple as hanging out with Jesus. As we dwell with him he becomes our friend, then our best friend and finally the love of our lives. If you want to be a friend of God and a close friend to Jesus, then hang out in The Word. You will find Father, Son and Holy Spirit there and have fun at the same time.