April: A Word from the Pastor

One of the blessings of salvation is being placed in union with Christ.

Believers are spiritually baptized into the body of Christ and the Holy Spirit indwells their hearts. They are in God and God is in them. This is a great blessing. And, the responsibility of this blessing is for every Christian to abide in Christ. Abiding means “to continue in the state or union in which you are.” Abiding means active dependence upon the Lord at all times.

This dependence is seen in:

  1. knowing your union in God,
  2. learning about God through His Word,
  3. fellowship with God in prayer, and
  4. maintaining a conscious dependence upon Christ at all times.

This is a great responsibility. Who is sufficient for such a challenge? If we depend upon our own resources, we will certainly fail. We must depend only on the Lord. He is the one who established our union in Him, He is the one who called us to abide in Him, and He is the only One who can enable us to be obedient to Him. In addition, Jesus is the example of abiding. In His earthly ministry, He was abiding in His union with the Father.

Numerous times in Scripture, we read of Jesus spending time alone with His Father in prayer (Matthew 14:23).

What was He praying about? Why would the Son of God need to commune with the Father when they are one? Was His time in prayer similar to our prayers or did He converse audibly back and forth with the Father? Scriptures do not reveal the intimacy of these moments, but we do see the results of Jesus abiding. Jesus repeatedly said that His ministry was not His will, but the will of the Father. He received His daily marching orders from above. The work that He did was the work for the Father in Him.

Union with the Father was a key truth in Jesus’ ministry – and a key reminder to us as Christians.

If Jesus’ ministry required abiding, how much more do our lives and ministries require this active dependence upon the Lord? We are privileged to have Christ’s example. Let us seek to follow Christ’s example of abiding. Let us actively depend upon the Lord – knowing God in Scripture and engaging in fervent prayer.

– Gary W. Custis