Saturday, March 23, 2019

Abide In Christ - Day 23 - As Christ In The Father (Video devotion and text)

Abide In Christ by Andrew Murray
As Christ In the Father
As the Father has loved me, I also have loved you... Abide in my love, even as I... abide in my Father's love” (John 15:9,10).
Christ had taught His disciples that to abide in Him was to abide in His love. The hour of His suffering was near, and He could not speak much more to them. They would doubtless have had many questions to ask as to what that abiding in Him and His love is. He anticipated and met their wishes, and gave them His own life as the best illustration of His command. As the example and rule for their abiding in His love, they had to look to His abiding in the Father's love. In the light of His union with the Father, their union with Him would become clear. His life in the Father was the law of their life in Him.
The thought is so high that we can hardly take it in, yet it is so clearly revealed, that we dare not neglect it. Do we not read in John 6:57, "As I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on me, will live because of me?" And the Savior prays so distinctly, "that they may be one even as we are one: I in them, and You in me” (John 17:22). The blessed union of Christ with the Father and His life in Him is the only rule of our thoughts and expectations in regard to our living and abiding in Him.
Think first of the origin of that life of Christ in the Father. They were One — one in life and one in love. In this His abiding in the Father had its root. Though dwelling here on earth, He knew that He was One with the Father; that the Father's life was in Him, and His love on Him. Without this knowledge, abiding in the Father and His love would have been utterly impossible. And it is only in this way that you can abide in Christ and His love. Know that you are one with Him — one in the unity of nature. By His birth He became man, and took your nature that He might be one with you. By your new birth you became one with Him, and have been made partaker of His Divine nature. The link that binds you to Him is as real and close as that which bound Him to the Father — the link of a Divine life. Your claim on Him is as sure and as always beneficial as was His claim on the Father. Your union with Him is as close.
And as it is the union of a Divine life, it is also one of an infinite love. In His life of humiliation on earth He tasted the blessedness and strength of knowing Himself to be the object of an infinite love, and of dwelling in it all the day; from His own example He invites you to learn that in this lies the secret of rest and joy. You are one with Him...yield yourself now to be loved by Him. Let your eyes and heart open to the love that shines and presses in on you on every side. Abide in His love.
Think then too of the mode of that abiding in the Father and His love which is to be the law of your life. "I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love" (John 15:10). His was a life of subjection and dependence, and yet most blessed. To our proud self-seeking nature the thought of dependence and subjection suggests the idea of humiliation and servitude; in the life of love which the Son of God lived, and to which He invites us, they are the secret of blessedness. The Son is not afraid of losing anything by giving up all to the Father, for He knows that the Father loves Him, and can have no interest apart from that of the beloved Son. The Son knows that as completely as He is dependent on the Father, so completely does the Father communicate all He possesses to the Son.. Therefore when He had said, "The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do" (John 5:19), He adds at once, "Whatever (the Father) does, the Son also does in like manner, for the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does" (John 5:19,20).
The believer who studies this life of Christ as the pattern and the promise of what his life may be, learns to understand how the "Without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5), is only the forerunner of "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13). We learn to glory in infirmities, to take pleasure in necessities and distresses for Christ's sake; for "when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). We rise above the ordinary tone in which so many Christians speak of their weakness, while they are content to abide there, because we have learned from Christ that in the life of Divine love the emptying of self and the sacrifice of our will is the surest way to have all we can wish or desire. Dependence, subjection, and self-sacrifice are for the Christian as for Christ the blessed path of life. As Christ lived through and in the Father, even so the believer lives through and in Christ.
Think of the glory of this life of Christ in the Father's love. Because He gave Himself wholly to the Father's will and glory, the Father crowned Him with glory and honor. He acknowledged Him as His only representative. He made Him partaker of His power and authority. He exalted Him to share His throne as God. And even so will it be with him who abides in Christ's love. If Christ finds us willing to trust ourselves and our interests to His love, if in that trust we give up all care for our own will and honor, if we make it our glory to exercise and confess absolute dependence on Him in all things, if we are content to have no life but in Him, He will do for us what the Father did for Him. He will lay His glory on us. As the name of our Lord Jesus is glorified in us, we are glorified in Him (2 Thess. 1:12). He acknowledges us as His true and worthy representatives. He entrusts us with His power. He admits us to His counsels, as He allows our intercession to influence His rule of His Church and the world. He makes us the vehicles of His authority and His influence over men. His Spirit knows no other dwelling than us and seeks no other instruments for His Divine work. Blessed life of love for the soul who abides in Christ's love, even as He abides in the Father's love!
Believer! abide in the love of Christ. Take and study His relation to the Father as a pledge of what your own can become. As blessed, as mighty, as glorious as His life was in the Father, yours can be in Him. Let this truth, accepted under the teaching of the Spirit in faith, remove every vestige of fear, as if abiding in Christ were a burden and a work. In the light of His life in the Father, let it from now on be to you a blessed rest in the union with Him, an overflowing fountain of joy and strength. To abide in His love, His mighty, saving, keeping, satisfying love, even as He abode in the Father's love - surely the very greatness of our calling teaches us that it never can be a work we have to perform. It must be with us like it is with Him, the result of the spontaneous outflowing of an inward life, and the mighty inworking of the love from above. What we only need is this: to take time to study the Divine image of this life of love set before us in Christ. We need to have our souls still unto God, gazing upon that life of Christ in the Father until the light from heaven falls on it, and we hear the living voice of our Beloved whispering gently to us personally the teaching He gave to the disciples. Soul, be still and listen. Let every thought be hushed until the word has entered your heart too: "Child! I love you, even as the Father loved me. Abide in my love, even as I abide in the Father's love. Your life on earth in me is to be the perfect counterpart of mine in the Father."
And if the thought will sometimes come: “Surely this is too high for us. Can it be really true?”, only remember that the greatness of the privilege is justified by the greatness of the object He has in view. Christ was the revelation of the Father on earth. He could not be this if there were not the most perfect unity, the most complete communication of all the Father had to the Son. He could be it because the Father loved Him, and He abode in that love. Believers are the revelation of Christ on earth. They cannot be this unless there is perfect unity, so that the world can know that He loves them and has sent them. But they can be it if Christ loves them with the infinite love that gives itself and all it has, and if they abide in that love.
Lord, show us Your love. Make us with all the saints to know the love that passes knowledge. Lord, show us in your own blessed life what it is to abide in your love. And the sight will so win us, that it will be impossible for us, even for one single hour, to seek any other life than the life of abiding in Your love.

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