Re-Connect…with more than one another
Are we staying connected with The Vine?
As you know, these are late-summer, early-fall days when we are encouraging you to register to come and then re-connect in worship and fellowship at our north Ames campus. Even last Sunday, on our first Re-Connect weekend, more began returning. There was a fresh excitement.
With safety steps in place, with our “team” cooperating in wearing masks together, it began to feel normal, Sprit-empowered.
The writer to the early Hebrew believers nailed it. “Consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not leaving behind the gathering together…but rather exhorting each other as you see the ‘day’ drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
In our fellowship, we honor those who desire to connect through the internet as well as those who feel free to come and fellowship in person.
Either way, an important spiritual call remains: “Re-connect with others in the body of Christ.”
BUT THERE’S MORE
Even more critically, we should be asking ourselves and one another, “Am I staying connected with The Vine, with the Lord Jesus Himself?”
In my 57 years of walking with Jesus, I’ve discovered there are few things easier than forgetting to stay connected with the Lord Jesus himself. “Prone to wander, Lord. I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.”
Too easy it is to start the day, press through the day, finish the day, without taking any time to prayerfully listen to the Lord and ask for the Lord’s direction from moment one. To keep us from connecting; to keep us disconnected–this may be our Enemy’s first and foremost strategy. He too knows that “apart from Me” (i.e., Jesus), we Christians can live through endless days doing nothing of any lasting value (cf. John15:1-8).
Recently, a couple Pamela and I support sent us a copy of Andrew Murray’s Abide in Christ (listen to full audio recording for free), an old 19th century classic devotional. Murray says it better than I am able.
“It’s a fundamental truth: There is nothing that would have moved you to come to Christ that is not satisfied a thousandfold more in our experience of abiding in Him. You did well to come; you do better to abide.
Yet I fear that there are many who have come to Jesus and yet will acknowledge, with regret, that they have no experience of this blessed abiding in Him.
• Some will say that they have never fully understood that Christ’s call to come included this invitation to abide.
• Others may acknowledge the call to abide in Christ but consider it an experience beyond their reach.
• Still others will say that they have tried to abide in Christ but haven’t discovered the secret to it.
• And finally there are those who, in all honesty, will confess that they have known but not sought the blessing of abiding in Christ.
To any of these people I come in the name of Jesus, their Redeemer and mine, with His blessed message: “Abide in Me.” There is power in the mere repetition, the daily invocation of the Master’s blessed command to “abide in Me” until it settles into your heart, no more to be forgotten or neglected.
Let us set ourselves in quiet trust before Him, waiting to hear His holy voice—the still small voice that is mightier than the storms that surround us. Abide in Me.”
Each day, sometime during each day, go to your “upper room” with Jesus. Read John 15:1-8.