Pari lent me a Christian book by Andrew Murray called Abiding in Christ. He is a somewhat well-known writer who lived in the late 1800s. It is a 31-day devotional, with about five pages to read each day about Christ saying, "Abide in me," in John 15:4. I am finding it really interesting and useful. I think that it has been a year since I have really prayed or learned anything from God. (In retrospect, I am not too surprised since I have been very sporadic at talking to him or reading his word.) I am glad Pari lent me the book (it was very casually done), because I feel as though I really needed to reconnect with Jesus.
Murray says that a life of abiding in Christ can be for any Christian. Jesus said to us "Come to me," and we responded when we became Christians. But he also says, "Abide in me," and this is him calling me to have rest in him. Murray says that "entire surrender to Jesus is the secret of perfect rest." He also says that when Jesus said that his yoke was easy (in Matthew 11:28-29), he was telling the truth. I have often felt that following him is hard, but Murray says that actually the hard thing is resisting his yoke. Surrendering to Jesus is restful because we are trusting in him and agreeing to obey him, knowing that it will be best.
I have read before in a famous Christian's (published) diary that they spent hours with God in prayer and they describe it as sweet relief to their soul, or they say things such as feeling refreshed after talking to God. I realise that I felt refreshed after my time with Judith or Helen or Pari because of our friendship and fellowship, but tonight was the first time I felt refreshed after speaking to Jesus. I am really amazed by my feeling, and that's what made me want to write about it.
I think another time I learned about this idea is from the book The Shack, which is an incredible story. It's a novel that describes Jesus (and also the Father and the Sprit) in the most understandable and friendly way. I feel like rereading some parts of it, because it helped me see how Jesus can be more like a friend and less like a Bible character from history.
Thanks for reading all of this. I hope that I can read and learn more, and especially come to have my soul dwell with Jesus more, because I am finding it to be quite an appealing idea. :)
Sunday, 17 July 2011
At Kevin and Sonya's church today, the pastor was announcing about a church member who had died. "There seems to be a lot of funeral announcements lately," he explained, "and our brothers and sisters have gone to be with the Lord. If Jesus doesn't return first, the day will come when we will be announcing your funeral up here. It makes each of us think, doesn't it? Are we ready for what comes next?"