Abide in the Word

Abide in the Word

One of my goals, when I am meeting with ladies in my D-Group, is to help them develop spiritual disciplines that will last a lifetime. The Bible says in John 8:31-32, “Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” The disciple maker’s goal is to make disciples who are passionate about God’s truth.

Jesus said something interesting in those verses. He used the word “continue,” which means to remain, abide, to keep being present. It is an ongoing relationship, not a momentary one. By continuing, you will know the truth and that truth will set you free. It will deliver you and liberate you. I like to rhyme, so I tell women I disciple, “In order to survive and thrive you need to abide.” We need to be grounded and rooted in the Word of God. 

Not everyone magically has a love and desire for the Word after getting saved. It doesn’t even automatically come when you get into a discipleship relationship. Falling in love with God’s Word is like with any other relationship when you love someone: the more you know them, the more you love them and want to spend time with them.  

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When Robby and I were dating, we spent a summer apart because he was a camp pastor in Glorieta, New Mexico. He was gone for more than two months. We would talk every day on the phone for as long as we could, and we were always writing emails to each other. Robby would email me the sweetest letters and poems; I would save them and read them over and over. Eventually, I printed them out and laminated them. I love to go back and read his letters to me. I keep them in our keepsake box so that we have them to show our boys one day. 

I not only have a keepsake box for Robby and me, but for both of my boys too. All of the items near and dear to our hearts go in those boxes so we can pull them out from time to time and reminisce. That is how most keepsake boxes work: we put them on a shelf in the closet and pull them out only when we feel like it.

The sad truth is most of us treat the Bible the same way. We consider it precious but not a priority. We want to have one and keep it safe but we don’t want to saturate ourselves with it. It sits collecting dust even though we are called to continue in Jesus’s word. We are to steep ourselves in it, sit and soak in it. Too often we are content just dipping our toes in either for the sake of getting a sweet pick-me-up when we need it, or simply for the sake of having done it.

Even now, the more I spend time with my husband, the more I love and appreciate him. We have been married for fourteen years and I love him more now than I ever could have on our wedding day. That is because I know him so much better than I did then. We have spent time together and we have grown in our relationship.

The Bible works the same way. I loved reading Robby’s words to me, but they weren’t what gave me life. While words from the man I love could remind me how he felt and helped strengthen my relationship with him, only God’s words have the power to change and sustain me! The more you spend time with God reading and applying his word, the more you love, respect and admire it. It becomes your life’s consuming passion.