Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Abiding in Christ

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. :)


mom said...

This really resonates with me. I realized a little while ago that I was altogether unsatisfied with the effect of my 60 years (turning 60 has been a bit startling for me - a kind of a wake up call) so I've decided to take a sabbatical until Christmas - not participating in any organized, ongoing activities such as choir or courses etc. and I want to spend 1 hour 5 days a week in reading/prayer/contemplation.
I hope that this will include chunks of time being with Jesus to be refreshed.

sarah said...

Hi my mother! I am praying that your sabbatical is a refreshing and fruitful time. I bet you will have time for more than 1 hour a day, at least on the days you are not working.

I appreciate your comment. I was reading Abiding with Christ during my trip, but haven't touched it since I got back. Your comment alerted me to my fickle habit. (I will get back on it tomorrow, since I'm already in my pjs now.)