Abide in Christ - Day 1 - All You Who Have Come to Him
Abide In Christ by Andrew Murray - Intro
Come unto me. —Matthew 11:28
Abide in me. —John 15:4
It is to you who have heard and listened intently to the call, “Come unto me,” that this new invitation comes, “Abide in me.” The message comes from the same loving Savior. You have no doubt never regretted having come at His call. You experienced that His Word was truth; He fulfilled all His promises; He made you partakers of the blessings and the joy of His love. Was not His welcome most hearty, His pardon full and free, His love most sweet and precious? More than once, at your first coming to Him, you had reason to say, “The half was not told me” (1 Kings 10:7).
And yet you have had to complain of disappointment. As time went on, your expectations were not realized. The blessings you once enjoyed were lost; the love and joy of your first meeting with your Savior, instead of deepening, have become faint and feeble. And often you have wondered what the reason could be, that with such a Savior, so mighty and so loving, your experience of salvation could not have been a fuller one.
The answer is very simple. You wandered from Him. The blessings He bestows are all connected with His command, “Come unto me,” and are only to be enjoyed in close fellowship with Him. You either did not fully understand or did not rightly remember that the call meant, “Come to Me to stay with Me.” And yet this was indeed His object and purpose when He first called you to Himself. It was not to refresh you for a few short hours after your conversion with the joy of His love and deliverance and then to send you forth to wander in sadness and sin.
He had destined you to something better than a short-lived blessedness, to be enjoyed only in times of special earnestness and prayer and then to pass away as you returned to those duties in which the far greater part of life has to be spent. He had prepared for you an abiding dwelling with Himself, where your whole life and every moment of it might be spent, where the work of your daily life might be done, and where you might be enjoying unbroken communion with Him. This is what He meant when to that first word, “Come unto me,” He added this, “Abide in me.” As earnest and faithful, as loving and tender as the compassion that breathed that blessed “come” was the grace that added this no less blessed “abide.” As mighty as the attraction with which that first word drew you were the bonds with which this second would have kept you, if you had only listened to it. And as great as the blessings were with which that coming was rewarded, so large, yes, and much greater, were the treasures to which that abiding would have given you access.
And observe especially, it was not that He said, “Come to Me and abide with Me,” but, “Abide in me.” The communion was not only to be unbroken, but most intimate and complete. He opened His arms to press you to His bosom; He opened His heart to welcome you there; He opened up all His divine fullness of life and love and offered to take you up into its fellowship to make you wholly one with Himself. There was a depth of meaning you cannot yet realize in His words: “Abide in me.”
And with no less earnestness than He had cried, “Come unto me,” did He plead,“Abide in me,” had you only noticed it. By every motive that had induced you to come did He beseech you to abide. Was it the fear of sin and its curse that first drew you? The pardon you received on first coming could, with all the blessings flowing from it, only be confirmed and fully enjoyed by abiding in Him. Was it the longing to know and enjoy the infinite love that was calling you? The first coming gave but single drops to taste; it is only abiding that can really satisfy the thirsty soul with drinks from the rivers of pleasure that are at His right hand. Was it the weary longing to be made free from the bondage of sin, to become pure and holy, and so to find rest, the rest of God for the soul? This too can only be realized as you abide in Him—only abiding in Jesus gives rest in Him. Or, if it was the hope of an inheritance in glory and an everlasting home in the presence of the Infinite One, the true preparation for this, as well as its blessed foretaste in this life, are granted only to those who abide in Him. In very truth, there is nothing that moved you to come that does not plead with a thousandfold greater force: “Abide in Him.” You did well to come; you do better to abide. Who would, after seeking the King’s palace, be content to stand in the door, when he is invited in to dwell in the King’s presence and share with Him in all the glory of His royal life? Oh, let us enter in and abide and fully enjoy all the rich supply His wondrous love has prepared for us!
And yet I fear that there are many who have indeed come to Jesus and who yet have to confess mournfully that they know little of this blessed abiding in Him. With some, the reason is that they never fully understood that this was the meaning of the Savior’s call. With others, though they heard the word, they did not know that such a life of abiding fellowship was possible and, indeed, within their reach. Others will say that though they did believe that such a life was possible and did seek after it, they have never yet succeeded in discovering the secret of its attainment. And others, again, alas, will confess that it is their own unfaithfulness that has kept them from the enjoyment of the blessing. When the Savior would have kept them, they were not found ready to stay; they were not prepared to give up everything and always, only, wholly to abide in Jesus.
To all such I come now in the name of Jesus, their Redeemer and mine, with the blessed message: “Abide in me.” In His name, I invite them to come and, for a season, meditate with me daily on its meaning, its lessons, its claims, and its promises. In connection with this message, I know that it suggests many difficult questions to the young believer. There is especially the question, with its various aspects, as to the possibility of keeping up, or rather being kept in, the abiding communion, as we deal daily with wearying work and continual distraction,. I do not undertake to remove all difficulties; Jesus Christ Himself alone must do this by His Holy Spirit. But what I would gladly be permitted to do, by the grace of God, is to repeat day by day the Master’s blessed command, “Abide in me,” until it enters the heart and finds a place there, no more to be forgotten or neglected. I desire that, in the light of Holy Scripture, we would meditate on its meaning until the understanding—that gate to the heart—opens to apprehend something of what it offers and expects. So we will discover the means of its attainment and learn to know what keeps us from it and what can help us to it; so we will feel its claims and be compelled to acknowledge that there can be no true allegiance to our King without simply and heartily accepting this one of His commands as well. So we will gaze on its blessedness until desire is inflamed and the will, with all its energies, is aroused to claim and possess the unspeakable blessing.
Come, my fellow believers, and let us day by day set ourselves at His feet and meditate on this word of His, with an eye fixed on Him alone. Let us set ourselves in quiet trust before Him, waiting to hear His holy voice—the still small voice that is mightier than the storm that rends the rocks—breathing its quickening spirit within us, as He speaks, “Abide in me.” The soul that truly hears Jesus Himself speak the word receives with the word the power to accept and to hold the blessing He offers. And may it please You, blessed Savior, indeed, to speak to us; let each of us hear Your blessed voice. May the feeling of our deep need and the faith of Your wondrous love, combined with the sight of the wonderfully blessed life You are waiting to bestow upon us, constrain us to listen and to obey, as often as You speak, “Abide in me.” Day by day, let the answer from our heart be “Savior, I do abide in You.”