*** The verses recited Sunday night are listed below.

The words and love of Jesus abiding within us, what does that look like? (John 15:7-9). Christ wants to move us, affect the way we think, affect the way we act and bring us in alignment with His will. God has spoken! We allow all sorts of other things to affect us, other people, our past, expectations, finances, the future, performance, parents, relationships, work, addictions, hobbies…fill in the blank. I know because I do it! He has spoken, can we allow His words to move us?

 “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says.”  James 1:22

The point isn’t “works”. The point is that He has spoken and we can listen! We can be part of His plan for humanity, which starts with us, right here, in that chair where you’re sitting. Your next task, decision, celebrations, hopes, tonight, next week, those things you struggle with, where you’re going, who and how you date, He has something to say to you. He has spoken.

If you’re new or reconnecting to Christ that means different things than if you’ve grown up in church you’re entire life. We’re all at different places but His word will speak life into all of us and meet us right where we are one GLORIOUS step at a time if we’re open to abiding in Him and His words in us.

Here’s the list of verses recited Sunday night for service during our “camp fire”. These are verses that have moved and shaped my life. They have spoken life into me. They have increased my capacity to see this world through God’s eyes, in a much more beautiful and meaningful way than I ever imagined. When I’m 50 I hope I’ll say the same thing all over again. They also tell a bit of a story: The supremacy of God, His will, my tendency to sin, a Savior enters this world, and convictions.  

God has spoken and I hope each of us grows in our desire to listen. Simply listen to Him.

Gen 1: 1-31
Deuteronomy 6:5
Psalm 107:1
Eph 5:17
John 15:17
Ephesians 1:9
John 6:40
Rom 7:15 & 21
I Corinthians 6:18
Rom 3:23
Romans 6:1
John 1:1
John 3:16
II Corin 5:17
Hosea 6:6
James 1:22
I John 3:17
Proverbs 29:25
Phillipians 2:15
Phillipians 4:13
James 1:2
Luke 12:48

AIM: Abide In Me


Can someone produce words about surgery, art, science, counseling, dating, plumbing....and yet not have a clue how to do it? We've all had those professors that have never worked a day of their life outside of academia yet talk like they know industry norms....which end up being "norms" from the 80's. You've probably run into a salesmen or someone else that talks a game, knows the right words, but when it comes to really knowing and follow through is a bit lacking. It's closely akin to "arm chair quarter backs" or "back seat drivers". It's easy to inform, talk, and critique but actually doing something and living it out is altogether different.

If someone is claiming to be or know something the expectation is that they not just regurgitate some information but that they truly know. They get it. They live it. They know the application, have experience, they know their way around the intricacies and difficulties. They are not anecdotal about it. They understand the dynamic nature of life and decisions and can inform others given all the variables. They know how to coach others through it that are at all different stages of understanding and experience. They are comfortable, strong, grounded, and confident that no matter what happens they can proceed towards the best possible outcome for anyone or any circumstance. What else would you want from a surgeon, counselor, professional, etc?

As Christians, are we comfortable and grounded in His word?  Does it shape and move us?  Do we live it, do we get it?  Are we onboard God's agenda?

John 15:7 "If you remain in me and my words remain in you...."

Abiding does not mean hearing all sorts of creative things that people say or create based on scripture (although those can be awesome!) - but actually seeing God's word with your own two eyes. Letting it abide and dwell within you. Go live it out in your life and within the Christian community you are a part of. Pray about it. Ask God what it means in light of where you are right now.

So - how do you abide in His words? If you've ever wondered where to start or where to read, this may help. One reading a day will carry you through 2 weeks in the life of Christ, 2 weeks in Paul's letters, and 2 weeks in the Old Testament.  In 6 weeks you could cover a vast, albeit concise, portion of scripture.

Try to soak in God's word and think about what this means. Talk to someone else about it. Pray about it, read through it with someone.  Encourage each other towards this end.  The King of Kings has spoken, everything else is just commentary.

Life of Christ:  Luke 1, Luke 2, Mark 1, Mark 9, Matthew 5, Matthew 6, Luke 15, John 3, John 15, John 17, Matthew 26, Matthew 27, John 20, John 24

Paul's:  Acts 9, Acts 16, Acts 17, Acts 26, Acts 27, Acts 28, Romans 3, Romans 7, Romans 8, I Corinthians 13, I Corinthians 15, Galatians 5, Ephesians 3, Phillipians 2

Old Testament:  Genesis 1, Genesis 3, Genesis 22, Exodus 3, Exodus 20, I Samuel 17, II Samuel 11, II Samuel 12, I Kings 18, Job 38, Psalm 51, Isaiah 40, Isaiah 58, Daniel 6

Remain (abide) in me...

Jesus has astonishing things to say in John 15.  He's got less than a week to live, he's told disciples they will desert him, others that they will betray him, and eluded to leaving the disciples.

John 15:7 "If you remain in me and my words remain in you....."  Things remain in my basement, attic, and garage.  They collect dust and are likely never to be used again or affect me.

The greek word translated in the NIV as "remain" is translated as "abide" in the KJV and conveys the meaning to live in or dwell. This is what Jesus is getting at when he starts this discourse with an illustration of vines and branches. We are to live and abide in him and his words are to live and abide in us. The things (sorry Krissy and Ginger) that abide in my house - they live there, dwell, affect, make a difference.  I make room for them, they impact my life, everything involves them to some degree.  So it is with Jesus. Christ's word is to abide and live within us.  It is to make a difference in our lives. Don't wait for a person, church, conference, or book to move you. They can help, but ultimately it comes down to allowing the words of Christ to abide in and move us.

Circumstances move and shake us.  Money.  Jobs.  Emotions.  Academics. Performance.  Past experiences. The economy. Unhealthy family dynamics. Success. Unhealthy relationships. Every single day I'm faced with a world that wants me to live a circumstantial life. Jesus wants us to live above circumstances to live eternally significant lives. Where circumstances don't drive us, motivate, and move us.  They're realities but we don't have to be products of them.  That can only happen if the word lives within us. How do we know what eternal significance is if we don't know his word, if we only know little snippets here and there and vague ideas? Ever feel like God has some important things to share or you'd like to hear....it's true!

What would it look like for every Chrisitian to embrace and live in his words? I would talk different, my selfishness and ego would diminish, my indifference would melt away, i'd see people like God does, the drive to consume all of my time, money, and resources on myself would be challenged, my goals would start to include things God cares about....

You can start by reading John 15.  Then read it again.  Read it until you get it.  Read it until it's in you.  Read it until you're connected to the true vine and pray for that desire to remain in him and he in you.

Some ideas and suggestions to allow God's word to live in you:
Pray about his word.  What does it mean for you? Read it again, read the same verse for a week.  Journal about it. Memorize scripture. Go act on it. Talk to someone else about it.

 Go do it Christian, you are called to that. You are called to eternal significance!