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October 23, 2021

Ann Farabee column: Abide

By Ann Farabee

The reality of it is embedded in our hearts.

It has been lovingly placed there by the Holy Spirit.

I remember when I first knew it was real.

I was:

A young teen who needed a savior, so I could be saved.

A young teen who needed the bread of life, so I could be fed.

A young teen who needed a light in my world, so I would not have to live in darkness.

A young teen who needed a good shepherd, so I would have guidance and love.

A young teen who needed the way, the truth, and the life.

One night, I knelt at an altar in a small church on East 16th Street.

You may not know where that is — but God does.

I asked Jesus to come live in my heart.

He did.

He still does.

Decades later — it has only grown stronger.

Sometimes, it feels like a flood.

Sometimes, it feels like a still small voice.

Sometimes, it feels so gentle as his love is poured into my heart and soul.

It is real.

It is not about rules. It is about a relationship.

It is not about promises lost. It is about promises kept.

It is not about forgiveness earned. It is about forgiveness given freely.

It it not about our effort. It is about God’s grace.

It is not only about God who abides in heaven.

It is also about God who abides in our hearts.

Abide means to live or dwell in.

Abide means to continue without being lost or fading away.

Abide means to stay or remain.

Jesus lives in us.

Jesus dwells in us.

Jesus will continue.

We will not lose him.

He will not fade away.

He stays with us.

He will remain with us.

What is the prerequisite to Jesus abiding in us?

John 15:4 says that if we abide in Jesus, he will abide in us.

Hudson Taylor was a Christian missionary for 51 years in China during the 1800s. His organization was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country and starting 125 schools. His efforts brought about 18,000 Christian conversions.

He wrote about abiding in Jesus in a way that I surely could not. His words were, “Abiding in Jesus isn’t fixing our attention on Christ, but it is being one with him. A man is abiding just as much when he is sleeping for Jesus, as when he is awake and working for Jesus. Oh, it is a very sweet thing to have one’s mind just resting there.”

Oh, Mr. Taylor, it is sweet, indeed.

Abiding in Jesus.

I may not be able to explain it, but I sure can feel it!

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com.

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