Advent and Abiding

Abiding, and setting your mind on things above, go hand in hand (John 14-17; Colossians 3). In The Gospel of John 6-8, 14-17, and in 1 John, we learn about the call to abide.  Abiding in Christ, in His words, in His love, in truth and love together–never seperate. God is Truth, and is Love; we abide in Him but must not try to separate Him into compartments.   

Praying without ceasing is the fruit of this abiding, and setting of our minds (2 Thessalonians 5:15-18).  The Psalms give such rich pictures of this. So many of the prayers found in the Psalms quote or allude to other Old Testament passages. The Psalmist meditated on the Word, memorized the Word, and then the Word directed the heartfelt prayers we read.   

“Your Law is my delight!  And my meditation all the day and all the night!”  (Ps 1:2 paraphrase)

The Law?  Well, it is the Word of the LORD intended to restore our souls (Psalm 19).  Slowly meditate on these verses, muse upon them as you go about your day, as you fall asleep, as you reach for your phone to check Facebook, set it back down and direct your thoughts to things above.  The Abiding life begins slowly, and is a habit that proves difficult for a generation that has trained their brains to be addicted to the screen, and to soundbytes. But if you start small, and continue, then the habit will become a delight, and the rhythms of  God’s heart will infuse your own. A mind set on things above will be full of love, and truth, and then manifest Him as a child of Light, pointing to the One True Light (Isaiah 9, John 1, Ephesians 5:1-21).   

So this Advent season, include the Law in your times of patiently waiting to celebrate His Coming.  

John 12:34 “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever.  How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”  So Jesus said to them, “The Light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you.  The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believing in the light, that you may become sons of light.”  

A few more to ponder for Advent:  Ps 89:4, 110:4; Is 9:7; Ezek 37:24-27; Daniel 2:44, 7:14  And let that last verse be your meditation/memorization for Advent.  

Advent, waiting.   

As the Israelites waited for their Savior to come, they did not know how God’s plans would unfold.  All that was foretold of Him would become more clear as Jesus began teaching and preaching the Kingdom; and even more clear after the Spirit was sent to fill His people.  We know that we still await some of the promises, we await the eternal rest and glory we long for. Jesus has promised to come again, to take us home. We wait. Let His Word remain your delight as you wait; let Advent invigorate you for Abiding in His Words.   

“And to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”  Daniel 7:14