Abide – Part 3

We are continuing to study abiding in the Lord, and what that looks like in our daily lives. In the book of John, chapter 5, two things took place that are significant. Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath and Jesus also said He was the Son of God. Both of these things angered the Jewish leaders. Jesus was talking to them and went on to explain about those who testified on His behalf – God and John the Baptist. There are two verses from this conversation that I want to touch on today.

In John 5:38, Jesus said, “But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.”

When I think about many of the people who lived during Jesus’s time, it is heartbreaking to think that they had the Messiah right there in front of them, yet they didn’t recognize Him. Many of them were religious leaders. They knew Scripture quite well. But in this verse, Jesus points out that the Word was not abiding in them.

In his commentary, Matthew Henry put it this way, “The word of God was not … in their hearts; not ruling in their souls … not constantly in them … If the word abide in us, if we converse with it by frequent meditation, consult with it upon every occasion, and conform to it in our conversation, we shall then readily receive the witness of the Father concerning Christ…” [1]

I think this is an important lesson for us as well. I would bet that many of us know someone who can quote Bible verses, yet they don’t truly have the Lord living in their hearts. Even the devil quoted Scripture when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. (See Matthew 4:1-11.)

A few weeks ago, our assistant pastor gave the sermon at church. And he used words that I thought were fitting. He talked about how some people just “play church.” They might show up on Sunday morning, yet when they walk out the door of the church, they forget all about God. They live their lives for themselves, not for the Lord.

In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

Personally, I don’t want to be among those that Jesus says those words to. And I don’t want to be like the people in Jesus’ day who missed the Savior that stood right in front of them.

The good news is that Jesus can see our hearts. He knows if we are sincere in our faith. However, even for those of us who truly love the Lord, I believe these words that Jesus spoke can help us to be vigilant when it comes to our walk with God.

The second verse that I wanted to touch on today comes from John 5:42 where Jesus said, “But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.” The people who did not abide in the Word, also did not have the love of God in them. They were all about keeping rules and regulations, and much of it was to get recognition for themselves. They were not truly tethered to God. Our faith should not be about religious duties and checking off our daily to-do list. Our faith shouldn’t be something we “put on” for the sake of others or to impress our friends.

When we truly abide in Christ, the love of God is in us. The love flows both ways. He loves us and we love Him. And when we abide in Christ, the Word of God abides in us, because we abide in His Word daily.

Our walk with the Lord is all about staying in union with Him. When we meet with Him each day and seek Him out, we are getting to know Him. As we learn more about Him, our love for Him grows. We realize that He is all we want and all we need. Abiding in Jesus daily will help us to grow in this area. It takes effort and intentionality. We have to show up. God is a gentleman and He will not force us to spend time with Him. That is our choice. But the rewards are well worth it. Yes, it is true that when we abide in Him, He will help change our hearts. But we have to be diligent to do our part, and pursue God. The more we show up, the more we read our Bibles, the more we pray – over time we will see the fire for the Lord grow in our hearts.

Dear Jesus, we are so grateful for You. We want to learn to abide in You. We want a relationship with You. It is humbling and exciting to think about the fact that You actually want to spend time with us. But we need to show up. Every day. Please place a desire in our hearts for You. We know that You are truly all we need. We pray that truth encourages us to seek You and abide in You daily. Lord, help us to walk in gratitude for You. We have so much to be grateful for, including our relationship with You. Thank You. We love You. In Your Holy name we pray, Amen.

Gratitude Challenge for 2022

If you want to end 2022 on a positive note, then perhaps you will consider finding several things you are grateful for each day, through December 31. You can either write them down, or simply say a prayer of thanks. Gratitude helps us to keep the love of God and His Word abiding in our hearts.

Photo by Johny Goerend on unsplash.com

© 2022 Bridget A. Thomas

[1] https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/Jhn/Jhn_005.cfm?a=1002038

13 Comments on “Abide – Part 3

    • Such a good point, David. It is sad. God is love and when we spend time with Him, His love should be evident in our lives. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Have a good day. God bless you too.


  1. Bridget, at times I have wondered, in biblical times hopefully I would have followed the Lord recognising him as the Messiah. At times I think about the blessing of grace to know our Lord now.
    Knowing the truth but not having the love of God takes one down a dangerous path. It is more about doing for self than reflecting him. As James writes even the demons know there is one God. But does that make any difference in how they choose to live and so if there is no transformation within us we are no different. A humbling thought.
    The Lord knows our heart so he sees our motives, that is something that reminds us that nothing is ever hidden from him and at the same time it also reminds me that even though I may falter, if my heart is in the right place God sees that too through the imperfect actions.
    Great post Bridget.
    Blessings my friend 💙💐🙏🏽

    Liked by 1 person

    • You made some excellent points, Manu. It can be so easy to only want what God can give us. But even if He gave us nothing, He still deserves all praise. You are right, the posture of the heart is what it comes down to. God knows every part of us. That should bring us comfort. Yet also help us to do a heart check periodically. Thanks so much, Manu! You helped me think about this from an even deeper level! Blessings to you too, my friend! 🦋💙

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love that word abide..great post Bridget. I’m at a point where I’ve never felt closer to the Lord and it’s the best, most reassuring, peaceful feeling.

    We must choose to dig into God’s word to know Him better and when we do we see how we can trust and love Him and share with others.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alicia, that is so wonderful. I love hearing that. And I love your point that we must choose. You’re so right. Every day we can choose Him! Thank you for stopping by. It is always great to hear from you. Have a blessed weekend 🦋

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “it is heartbreaking to think that they had the Messiah right there in front of them, yet they didn’t recognize Him.” This really stood out to me, it reminded me how as Christians, we need to “recognize Jesus.” Even though He is not physically standing in front of us like back then, we should recognize him by living our lives in a way that reflects Him, we should also recognize his voice when he speaks to our hearts and obey his instructions. Thanks Bridget, excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such a good point, Dawn! Even though we don’t live during Jesus’ era, we too have to keep our eyes and ears open for Him. And as you said, we should reflect Jesus too. Thank you for your thoughts and insights, Dawn! I hope you have a lovely weekend. 🍂🍁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the words ‘God is a gentleman.’ That’s such a peaceful thought to reflect on. He won’t twist our arm or bully us into spending time with Him. He wants our genuine love and a close relationship with us, but He is patient with us.

    I also love this thought here:

    “The more we show up, the more we read our Bibles, the more we pray – over time we will see the fire for the Lord grow in our hearts.”

    Yes, it’s so true that as we spend time getting to know Jesus it will ignite our hearts. As I read those words I envisioned someone building a fire. You must collect the wood, light it (begin the process) but you must also kindle it, that means spending more time on it. Adding more wood, stoking it, to keep the flames growing. The more you add to it the bigger the fire. If you neglect it the fire can burn down to embers or even go out.

    Thanks for sharing Bridget. You’re a good and faithful servant, and a lovely loving daughter, sister friend of God. Have a wonderful week. 💐🦋

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tina, I love the picture you painted with the person building the fire. And you really captured so well the imagery of us being active in our relationship with the Lord, in order to build the fire in our hearts. You are absolutely right, we can’t just place the wood in a pile and expect a fire to start on its own. As you said, we must kindle it, stoke it, and add more wood. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing that. I really love this! May we remember to keep feeding the fire in our relationship with Jesus… Thank you for your sweet words! You made my day. And thank you for being such a beautiful light for the Kingdom, reflecting the love of the Lord! I hope you have a wonderful week too, my friend! 💜✝️


  5. Beautifully said. I often tell people walk with—-not ahead or behind—God.
    It’s a great reminder for me to abide in Christ. Abide is such a rich word.

    I would love for you to guest post on my blog, Bridget, if you’ve got the freedom in your schedule.

    Thanks for sharing your insights. Good word.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right, abide is a rich word. And learning to abide in Jesus is an amazing and fulfilling journey. I really love what you said about “walk with—-not ahead or behind—God.” That is so true, and definitely something we need to remember. Thank you for the kind words. I would be happy to do a guest post. Is there a particular topic you would like for me to write about? If not, I will give it some thought.

      Liked by 1 person

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