Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:4.
Every individual, by his own act, either puts Christ from him by refusing to cherish His spirit and follow His example, or he enters into a personal union with Christ by self-renunciation, faith, and obedience. We must, each for himself, choose Christ, because He has first chosen us. This union with Christ is to be formed by those who are naturally at enmity with Him. It is a relation of utter dependence, to be entered into by a proud heart. This is close work, and many who profess to be followers of Christ know nothing of it. They nominally accept the Saviour, but not as the sole ruler of their hearts.
The evil tendencies of mankind are hard to overcome. The battles are tedious. Every soul in the strife knows how severe, how bitter, are these contests. Everything about growth in grace is difficult, because the standard and maxims of the world are constantly interposed between the soul and God’s holy standard. The Lord would have us elevated, ennobled, purified, by carrying out the principles underlying His great moral standard, which will test every character in the great day of final reckoning.
We must gain the victory over self, crucify the affections and lusts; and then begins the union of the soul with Christ After this union is formed, it can be preserved only by continual, earnest, painstaking effort….
Every Christian must stand on guard continually, watching every avenue of the soul where Satan might find access. He must pray for divine help and at the same time resolutely resist every inclination to sin. By courage, by faith, by persevering toil, he can conquer. But let him remember that to gain the victory Christ must abide in him and he in Christ…. It is only by personal union with Christ, by communion with Him daily, hourly, that we can bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
The Life I Live By p. 135
Prayer Requests
—-Please pray for my husband. He is a truck driver and lost his wallet today somewhere along a 350 mile stretch of interstate. He stopped several places and somewhere along the way he thinks it fell out. It’s not in the truck as far as he can tell and he and my son have looked everywhere. He’s also called every place he stopped and no one has seen it yet. He is in the process of canceling cards and that kind of thing, but we know God knows where it is and can keep it safe. Juliette
—-Please pray for our pastor’s mother as she is nearing the end of life. Pray for all the family during this stressful and sorrowful time. Esther
—–Please continue to pray for Ron. Rose
Dear Friends,
When I was in eighth grade, I had a friend named Marlene. She sat by me in one of our classes. She was several years older than the other students, because she had difficulty with schoolwork. She read on about the second grade level. As I helped her with her lessons, a friendship developed between us. Soon, we were going places and doing things together and generally having a good time. All seemed well.
At our school, there was a girl gang that was so tough that even the boy gangs were afraid of them. For some reason, this gang had taken a dislike to Marlene. One day, one of these girls came over to where I was standing and told me to break off my friendship with Marlene or there would be consequences. Shocked and frightened, I later asked Marlene if she had done anything to make these girls mad at her. She said that she didn’t know the cause of their anger. All she knew was they were her enemies. We stayed friends. There were consequences.
As we go through life, we all have enemies. Usually they are not as direct as these girls. Normally our enemies just spread rumors about us that grow with the telling and ruin our life. Some enemies have taken a dislike to us, because they do not like something about us, just as those girls had done with Marlene. Others are holding a grudge because of some little offense in the past that we did not even realize we had committed. Others become our enemies because they do not agree with what we believe. No matter what the cause of their animosity, no matter how much they may distress and afflict us, they cannot harm our relationship with our Loving Saviour. He holds us tightly in His Great Arms of Love and promises us that no one can pluck us out of His Hand (John 10:29 )
More than all the enemies we might have along the way, is a great adversary who is constantly laying snares in our path. He hates us and wants to destroy us in order to bring pain to our Great Creator. Peter warns us of this enemy, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith.” 1 Peter 5:8,9 This evil enemy is continually tempting us to sin, and then when we do, he accuses us before God. Zechariah was given a vision illustrating this very thing. “And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” Zech 3:1-4 This vision not only shows the work of our great adversary, it also shows the mercy and love of our Great High Priest—the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul tells us, “We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Heb 8:1,2 Because of His Great Sacrifice, we can “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” 4:16 “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” Ps 103:8-14 Praise God! Although enemies may surround us, we have a Friend “that sticketh closer than a brother!” Prov 8:24 He is even now interceding for us. This Friend above all friends removes our filthy garments of sin from us and clothes us with His own righteous robes. What forgiveness! What love and mercy! What a wonderful Saviour!
Let us confess and forsake our sins, into which the enemy has lured us, for we have the promise that He will forgive us and cleanse us. (1 John 1:9) Let us, even when all forsake us, pray as did David, “Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Let us declare as did he, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul. . . O God. Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.” Ps 56:3-11

Union With Christ
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