1.5.15–>”Abide in Christ..Serve the Suffering”



As we journey toward being one with God, we find that the message and the task before us becomes more and more simple. It is we who complicate the message and journey with a plethora of added requirements for living this life, not God.

Simple does not mean without challenge, for it is in challenge, in suffering, that we grow. Isn’t it in suffering where things often become simpler by narrowing our focus on what is truly important?

We grow through suffering and discipline, discipline being more on our terms. Discipline is also a narrowing of focus on what is most needed for growth. It is a prioritizing. Time with God, soaking in His presence, meditating upon Holy Scripture, devotion to prayer–listening as much as speaking, encouragement with others who pursue union with God.

So, inspired by Andrew Murray’s writing, Ruach showed me that we can state our intentions succinctly with, “Abide in Christ. Serve the suffering.” This goes nicely with the two greatest commandments according to Jesus–Love God. Love who’s in front of you right now. 

Abide in Christ. Serve the suffering.

It was clear how Todd preached it yesterday: to abide in Christ is to “stay connected to Jesus.” Another simple way of stating truth. Stay connected to Jesus. How? The ways are many, but will involve carving out time to spend focused on Him via the means mentioned above–Time with God in soaking, meditation, prayer, fellowship, just thinking about Him wherever you are all the time. To remember that He is with you and loving you at every given moment. To remain open to Him and what He has for you right now.

And if we’re abiding in Christ, we will be led to serve the suffering, to be with them. It is not one without the other. To paraphrase Murray, if you are abiding in Christ, then get serving. If you’re serving, then get abiding in Christ. Just the abiding without the serving is more of a private pietism. Just the serving without the abiding is mere social justice. Jesus showed us not an either/or, but both/and because of the power of YHWH and His indwelling Spirit. That is the difference, what makes ALL the difference–supernatural love and power flowing through us.

Abide in Christ. Serve the suffering.

This is how it works out. Everything exists for the sake of God and because of Him; and it was appropriate that, in bringing many children to glory, He should make perfect, through suffering, the One who leads the way to salvation.  Hebrews 2:10 [KNT]

Religion that God accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence.  James 1:27 [NCV]

In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *