Do you stress over reading your bible? Maybe you always feel behind in your reading plan? Or do you read and still feel dry and distant from God? Me too, but I think that is shame from the enemy rather than a pang of holy guilt. The response we saw to overcoming our fear and learning to be still in God was to Abide. How do we Abide in the Word of God to Be Still if it doesn’t start with massive amounts of Bible study? Okay, today might get a little controversial but I hope you will stick with me.
Did you find this mid-series? We are in a 40-day Fast to learn how to be still and know God. Go back here and read the intro and keep up with series.
John 15:1-11 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
A refresher: What does abide mean in the bible?
The Greek word for abide in the Bible is menō – it is used in our text and it means: remain, dwell, continue, tarry, endure.
How do you abide or remain in Christ?
Let’s focus on the part of abide that means dwell, live, spend time with, be present with.
How do you spend time with someone you love?
- You talk to them
- Listen to them
- Spend time together doing things you both love
- Text each other
- Think of each other through the day
- Talk about each other to others
To listen to God you must Abide in God’s word
How do you abide in God’s word? Read the Bible right? Well… to understand scripture we have to know the intended audience. Did the people in Jesus day own a bible like modern Christian?
No, the disciples didn’t have Bibles. They might not have even known how to read and if they did it would not have included all the languages the Bible was written in at the time.
We take for granted how recently the Bible has been translated into common languages. Until a century or so ago, to read the Bible you needed to know Latin.
Has it only been possible for people to abide in the Word of God in recent years? Nope, that would be Ludacris!
How did people abide in God’s word before the Modern Bible?
Early Christians would listen to scripture being read
- Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Early disciples would talk about the scripture they heard
- Deuteronomy 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates
Believers in God took time to Meditate on it the scripture they heard.
- Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
Early Jews and Christians made it a priority to learn or memorize scripture
- Psalm 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
Those who believed in God learned how to apply scripture to their everyday lives
- Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Modern Christianity vs Early Christianity
Modern Christians should be so much closer to God because we have the advantage of the Bible in our own language, a multitude of translations and no one telling us we can’t read it.
Instead of being closer to God, Modern Christianity is farther from God and headed farther every day. Modern Christianity has forgotten how to Be still and Know God.
Why does it feel harder to Abide in God’s word today than it was 2000 years ago?
We have God’s Word at our fingertips but we struggle to find time to read it. There is a Church in every neighborhood but we rarely make time to go listen to scripture being read. Religious freedom is our hallmark but we take it for granted and prefer comfort to the conviction of the Bible. To be still is scary.We have God's Word at our fingertips but we struggle to find time to read it. There is a Church in every neighborhood but we rarely make time to go listen to scripture being read. Religious freedom is our hallmark but we take it… Click To Tweet
How can we change our ways and commit to Abide in Christ and being Still?
Abiding in the Word of God is about abiding in God’s presence rather than checking off some religious to-do list. We must change this perspective if we want lasting change. To be still and know God is more than a quantity of reading, it’s about quality time in God’s Word!To be still and know God is more than a quantity of reading, it's about quality time in God's Word! Click To Tweet
What are the benefits of abiding in God’s presence?
- A deeper relationship with God
- Less sin
- Wisdom and discernment
- Better equipped for spiritual warfare
- Your soul is full when life gets hard and drains you
- It is easier to help others grow
Reading your Bible is the Kindergarten level of ChristianityReading your Bible is the Kindergarten level of Christianity Click To Tweet
You should read your Bible because you are desperate to hear God’s voice, not because you “Have to read the Bible in a year to be a good Christian”.
What’s important is to make your time in the Bible about you and God, not you and whoever is checking your Bible reading plan or leading your group study.
You may only be able to read one verse each week or day. If that one verse drew you closer to God that’s perfect. Consistency breeds authentic relationship!
Want to take your Faith to the next level? Abide in Gods word and Abide in God’s love through the day!
- Listen to scripture being read
- Talk about the scripture you heard
- Meditate on it the scripture you heard.
- Memorize God’s Promises
- Apply scripture to your everyday lives
- I love Bible Journaling to help with that!
A word of caution about Abiding in Christ through abiding in God’s Word:
Read the Bible itself more than you read what people say about the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Bible studies are great tools with amazing accountability, sermons inspire and encourage, great literature has its place… but nothing can replace the blessed intimacy that grows when you dwell and abide in the very Words of God.Bible studies are great tools with amazing accountability, sermons inspire and encourage, great literature has its place... but nothing can replace the blessed intimacy that grows when you dwell and abide in the very Words of God. Click To Tweet
A Prayer to Abide in Christ by abiding in the Word of God
Thank You for all the conveniences of this modern life. Forgive me for spending more time amusing my self with entertainment than musing over the truths of Your Word.
You said “abide with Me” and I want to walk through life every day with You but I tend to make Bible reading a chore instead of a date with You. Forgive me. I read more Bible Studies than actual verses to grow with You. Help me strip away everything that distracts me from hearing Your loving voice and just sit with You.
Teach me what it looks like to really Abide in Your Word.