To be a Christian. To be “like” Christ. A disciple. A follower of Jesus. What does this all mean? It was a long time ago, in a career far, far away that the Lord spoke very clear to me. I was at an administrator’s conference when He spoke the following phrase to me: “exist to serve”. In searching scripture, God directed me to 1 John 2:6 which states, “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” Little did I know how important this would become to my personal faith in Jesus today. The content of this verse is very clear: to live like Jesus. In love and service to those around us for His glory. A crucial aspect of our life in Christ, and one I will talk about further in future segments. However, what I want to dig into now is the word “abide.” Before we live like Jesus, we better get to know who Jesus is.
Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship said, “If you want to experience God’s promises…you must dwell in the secret place of the Most High. You must remain in constant fellowship with God.” That’s the key, we must constantly be in the presence of God. If we do, our relationship with the Lord will soar.
So, the simple dictionary definition of the word means:
- To submit to, agree
- To continue, stay, remain steadfast, faithful, dwell, reside, endure
- To continue in a particular, condition, attitude, or relationship.
and my personal favorites…
- To accept without opposition or question.
- To pay the price, or suffer for.
This is the essence of being a Christian – total fellowship with the Father, no matter the consequences. Here’s a little more to what the Bible has to say about it.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
Life in Christ is about how we live our lives in and through the name of Jesus here on earth. Life in Jesus is experiential.
- It’s what we hear. We listen to Jesus speak by the written word. The Bible is our gateway to the preaching and teaching ministry of Jesus. How He communicated with people, how He listened, and how He ministered to the hearts and minds of everyone around Him. Also, don’t forget that one of the most crucial aspects to our relationship with Jesus is through Prayer. So often we talk and talk and talk. But how often do we sit and listen to what he wants to say to us in return?
- It’s what we see. We serve a God who created the world around us! To not only gaze upon His creation, but also His created. The people we live, work, and fellowship with are all made in the image of God. Do we see them as such? Are they more to us than mere objects to get what we want out of them?
- It’s who we touch. We were made for community. What does a hug do for you, or an arm around your shoulder when you’re feeling down? We were made to lift each other up, serve one another, and lay hands on each other in prayer as we intercede for our family before God.
This is the experience the disciples had when they lived life with Jesus, and we can too. Take a look at what John said of his experience with Jesus:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (1 John 1:1-4)
Abiding in Christ is an absolutely wonderful experience, and one I hope everyone can experience for themselves. Through our fellowship with Jesus, we will come to know Him more and more everyday. This is the greater, deeper form of love and fellowship that we have with those we are closest to. Our innate desire as human beings is for deep, meaningful relationship. And this we can have when we seek to know who Jesus is at the deepest level. As believers, we partake in His nature, thus bringing connectivity to Jesus. 2 Peter 1:3-4 states, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” In short, through a deeper relationship with Jesus, we become like Jesus and get to experience all that He has for us.
What does this look like for me?
I was tired of living a “surface-layer” life. I wanted to know more about Jesus. So I started to study the Word at a deeper level. I sought out pastors, asked questions, dove in to commentaries and other writings, and involved myself in biblically-based conversations that made me speak to my knowledge of Jesus. I have found that there is no better judge of one’s knowledge of Jesus than when you are called on to give a reason for the hope that lies within (1 Peter 3:15). I found that the more I sat at the feet of Jesus, both in study and in fellowship with others, the more I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to abide, more and more.
So what does this look like for you? Leave me a comment and let me know how you seek to abide in Jesus on a daily basis. Remember, we’re meant to “proclaim His excellencies” (1 Peter 2:9) to those around us. Let’s keep the conversation going.
God bless you!