What Does It Mean to Abide in Christ? (Part 2 of 2)
"'Abide' means to follow God's instructions, be nice and polite, and don't call anyone names," says Garrett, age 8.
Refraining from name-calling might also mean that your nose will continue to abide in its proper place.
"'Abide' means to rest in his home and to read the Bible. Whenever you abide in Christ, it means you have a bunch of peace," says Taylor, 10.
A bunch of peace is guaranteed for all abiding Christians. This doesn't translate into freedom from trouble. Jesus said his disciples would have tribulation in this world. Anyone can have peace when things are going well. The challenge lies in enjoying God's peace when your world is turned upside down.
"The Lord is always there to help you," says Haley, 10. "You are nothing without him. To abide in Christ means to lie in his hands, or rest in him."
Lying in Jesus' hands evokes a picture of the Good Shepherd carrying frightened sheep to safety in the midst of a storm. When spooked sheep hear the shepherd's voice or feel the touch of his staff or hands, they can rest.
Resting in Christ doesn't mean taking a snooze, however. Resting is the confidence of a hiker as he walks across a proven mountain footbridge suspended above a rushing river 1,000 feet below. Jesus is the bridge whom we trust not only for safe passage to heaven but also for transport over life's dangerous valleys such as depression, fear and worry.
"Abide means to believe in God and to obey what he thinks is good and right for you," says Dane, 9. "Then, you can do all things. If you don't abide, you can do almost nothing.
Have you ever been lost because the street name changed? Roads that end in darkness usually start with names that seem innocent and promising.
White Lie Lane can quickly change to Ruined Reputation Road. Some who have traveled down Shady Accounting Avenue have noticed the street sign now reads Corporate Scandal Street. The whole world has witnessed how Hate Way can turn into Suicide Bomber Boulevard.
Do you think a suicide bomber wakes up one day and suddenly has the urge to blow everyone to smithereens? He starts his dark journey by abiding in hate. If he stays there long enough, hate will consume him and lead to murder.
"To abide in Christ means to live in God," says Alexandra, 10. "When you abide in God, you don't just live in him: You obey him, praise him, love him with all your heart, soul and mind, and spread his word all around."
This sounds like Alexandra's version of the greatest commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37).
Life is beautiful, and the mind really is a wonderful thing when all mental and spiritual capacities are drawing life from God. When the light of God's love and grace floods your soul, the rays of God's peace transform everything in your life.
Think about this: It's a mistake to go about daily routines and activities as though Jesus lives only in heaven. Every Christian faces the daily challenge to live by a higher life, the life of Christ.
Memorize this truth: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
Ask this question: Are you drawing upon Christ or your own resources?
Listen to a talking book, download the "Kids Color Me Bible" for free, watch Kid TV Interviews and the Mission Explorers Documentary at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org.
Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CAREY KINSOLVING