RemainingThis past weekend it was good to have Stephen Manley at our men’s retreat. He always reminds you that Jesus should be your only source in life. When you put aside all the things you depend on, there is only one thing worth keeping at the center of your life – Jesus. That is the type of relationship Jesus had with the Heavenly Father. In John 15:1-17, Jesus compares this close relationship in the picture of a vine and the branches. Take the time to read it today during some down time you may have. By all means, don’t do it while driving down the road. Go to a park if you are bound to your car and take a few moments to saturate in the concept of the vine and the branches.
The famous American abolitionist and writer, Harriet Beecher Stowe, lived in the 1800s. She was famous for her novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” written in 1852. It showed the lives of African-Americans who were slaves and was instrumental in turning people’s hearts against slavery. Many plays were written from this famous book. Many people don’t know that along with the many other books she is famous for, she also wrote a small booklet entitled, “How to Live on Christ.” It is not as popular as her other works, but it is powerful. She writes, “How does the branch bear fruit? Not by incessant effort for sunshine and air; it simply abides in the vine, in silent and undisturbed union, and blossoms and fruit appear as of spontaneous growth. How then, shall a Christian bear fruit? By efforts and struggles? No: there must be a complete surrender of the whole being to Him; a constant looking to Him for grace.”
It is simple, the secret of a close and vibrant relationship with Jesus is remaining. Remaining in Him for every need, temporal or spiritual. We are to be in Jesus all the time and Jesus is to be in us. That is what we call truly remaining in Him. Whatever doesn’t rub Jesus wrong, doesn’t rub me wrong. That is when revival is unleashed in our lives. The spirit and attitude of Jesus permeates my every thought and action.
Let me reach back to an ancient hymn written in 1872 entitled, “I Need Thee Every Hour.” If you know the tune then sing it while you read it. If you don’t know the tune, make one up and worship the Lord as you are reminded how much you need Him. There is no magic in the tune, the words are just rich and true.
I Need Thee Every Hour
I need Thee ev’ry hour, Most gracious Lord; No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee; O I need Thee! Ev’ry hour I need Thee! O Bless me now, my Savior; I come to Thee!
I need Thee ev’ry hour; stay Thou nearby, temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh. (Chorus)
I need Thee ev’ry hour, in joy or pain; come quickly and abide, or life is in vain. (Chorus)
I need Thee ev’ry hour, most Holy One. O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son! (Chorus)
Revival begins this Sunday. It is going to be a powerful time together. Be sure to pick up a flyer from the bulletin and invite someone to come with you. Meals will be provided before each service Monday through Wednesday. Our children will have a special emphasis on Sunday and Wednesday. There is something for the whole family. Make a priority to attend now before your schedule gets filled. It will be worth it all.
May you remain in the Lord today and be reminded that He will remain in you.
Joy in Jesus!