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~ Deepening our Relationship with Christ ~
Paul J. Bucknell
Deepening Intimacy | Obedience | Assumptions
Means of Intimacy #1 The Vinedresser | #2 True Vine | #3 Success |
#4 Means of Success | #5 Promise of Abiding | #6 Purpose of Abiding |
#7 Need of Obedience | #8 Need of Love | Friendship John 15:16-17 | Applying the Principles John 15:16 | Summary Principles |
Study Questions | Small Group Questions
Purpose: Summary of the Abiding in Jesus Christ Principles summarizes the principles from JOhn 15:1-17 and this series 'Abiding in Christ' and encourages the reader to take the next steps in having a more intimate relationship with God through Christ.
This revolution on understanding the phrase ‘abide in Him’ started when God convicted me of needing a greater love for Him. I asked Him how I was to do this (since I was extremely busy). He wanted me to give up my free 15-30 minute free time in the afternoon to catch up on news and the like.
He was asking me if I really loved His Word more than those things. I of course said I did but realized that He wanted me to meditate on His Word more. He wanted to reveal more to me, but I needed to delve deeper into His Word. Changing my life habits was not easy but life–changing.
I decided to meditate on some simple Gospel passage. I wanted to learn to watch Jesus as the disciples did. I wanted to ask, “What did they learn from those things recorded?” Each gospel passage that I decided to meditate on was used by Him to greatly change me. The changes were so overwhelming and surprising, that I lost control, so-to-￼speak, of my life. This is why I am still scared to meditate on the Gospel passages (I don’t let my fear hold me back but I never know what will happen).
The most important step was to believe that God wanted to speak to me through a Bible passage and that He was able to do. So I decided that I would meditate on a familiar Gospel passage until God spoke to me. Sometimes it was almost instant. At other times it seemed that it would never come. He tested me at times to see if I would persevere. Through this process, He built up my faith in the way His Word is able to change my life. Since I know how He changed my life, I also gained the faith that He could through His Word change others.
I am sure you know how it is to enter your quiet times with and without faith. Without faith, you don’t expect God to speak. With faith, God speaks. A series, “Reviving Our Personal Devotions” developed from this basic truth.
From these meditations developed a book, ‘Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus’. Every gospel passage, though I had read them many times before, was used to greatly humble me of some sin in my life and then call me to live more rightly.
After this I would be given occasion to prove my resolve (as shown in the above example). Now I didn’t know how God would test me. He used so many interesting situations occurring me. I had to be alert and aware. We need to learn to understand those things happening around in light of what He is saying to us in His Word.
Let’s review a few important questions for this passage. More extensive questions follow on the next several pages.