Thoughts On… Abiding in Him

This was originally posted at our former website. It was written just after the election of 2008 and prior to the Presidential Inauguration in January 2009. Some of the information is dated, but the gist of the message remains.

In the past few years much has happened in the world, particularly in our nation. We have elected a new president and installed him as the leader of our country. He has served for nearly eight years. He has selected men and women to advise him on policy and courses of action to take as he leads our nation. With all honesty I am fearful of the directions he is choosing to take.  In many cases my fears have been borne out.

In a few short days after his inauguration our new national leadership has declared abortion to be an international “right.” He has chosen to reverse the actions of the administration before him and allow our national resources to fund entities that destroy life.

In the few days after his inauguration our new national leadership has chosen to release from our captivity men who have sworn to eliminate us. Recently we have learned that two men formerly held in captivity are again leading attacks on us.  In the years since many more of our sworn enemies have been released from military prisons.  Many of those have returned to the battlefield.  Their sole intent is to destroy as many of us as they can.

In only a few days after his inauguration our new national leadership has determined it appropriate to place massive burdens of debt on my children and my grandchildren and their children; so far out into the future they could never repay what we have borrowed today. Trillions of dollars to be used to cover the expenses of those unwilling to be held accountable for their mismanagement of the corporations they have been entrusted to lead.  Our debt at the time of his inauguration was $8 trillion.  Our national debt has surpassed $20 trillion.

I was so very anxious. Anxious despite what I know from Scripture.

Philippians 4:4-6

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It is very easy to fall into the ways of the world. We have all done it. We all do it. It is so frustrating to become “apostate” even for a little while. I thank God that His Spirit is alive in me. When I remember to stop and to consider His Word all things of the world pass away and He reminds of heavenly things.

Our national situation is serious, but it is not so serious as to think God does not know what He is doing. Further, in the scheme of God’s purpose this period of time is but a vapor to God.

James 4:13-17

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.

What is your Life?

You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

No matter the plans made by men without God their respective efforts are fruitless. In their vanity they will be judged. In their desire to lord their position over others they will harvest what they have sown. In the same way, we will harvest what we sow.

If the new national leadership sows authoritarian, socialistic government, then that is what they will reap. If we sow fear of that kind of government, then we will reap more fear of the government. But, that is not what believers are to sow.

We are not of the government. We are of God! WE abide in Him.

John 15:4-7

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

Jesus, our Savior, makes it abundantly clear that we will only be a worthy witness if our hearts, words, thoughts and deeds are IN HIM. If we step away from the Word of God to follow fear, then we have poisoned our portion of the branch. Our branch will not bear testimony to the grace upon grace gifted to us by God. Rather, it will bear poisoned fruit.

John 15:10

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

One of Christ’s commands is not to worry! Scriptures teach us that we should not worry about what we eat or what we wear. Jesus teaches that God dresses the lilies of the field with splendor greater than that of Solomon on his best dressed day. Jesus teaches that the crows do not worry about where their next meal is coming from. Finally, Jesus teaches that the Father cares much more for us than He cares for the lilies and the crows. So we have no reason to worry!

To worry, such as I was worrying, about the immediate fate of our nation because of a transition to a new national government is a sin. Recall James 4, “Anyone who knows what good he ought to do and does not do it sins.”

I know the good I ought to do. So, too, do you know the good you ought to do.

1 John 2:6

Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Jesus did not walk in His ministry fearful of what the government might do to Him! He did not walk wondering where His next meal would come from. He did walk in His ministry preaching His Gospel of salvation! And, that is the manner in which we must walk. I claim to live in Him. Therefore, I must abandon the irrational fear of government run amok and pick up the testimony of my life IN CHRIST!

1 John 2:28

Now dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and and unashamed before him at his coming.

We are believers and we know He will come again to claim His Bride. We must abide in Him. The fruit of our testimony about Him, through Him and in Him will not leave us naked and ashamed before Him.

God speaks to us and He exhorts us in His Word. Listen to what He says about those of us who do not abide in Christ.

1 John 3:6

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

2 John 9

Any one who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

When our lives are dedicated to Him; when each day is promised to serve Him, then we will not sin. A person who persists in sin will neither see God nor will they know Him. I don’t want that to be my fate or yours.

When we abide in Christ our gifts are manifold. We will have a spiritual fruitfulness. Our prayers will be answered. Peace will come upon us in abundance. We will have new lives where dedication to Him is foremost; more important than fearing what can happen to us. Because we abide in Him we can see righteousness in His life and pursue it in our own.

There is nothing to fear.

About Jim Barnes

A man seeking to please the Lord. A man striving to abide in Christ Jesus. A man whose hope is to see just one more come into the fold.
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