Pray: Gracious Lord Jesus, please be praised in my heart and mind today. May Your name be on my lips in adoration as I dwell upon Your goodness and Your gracious work in my life. May this time of prayer and study bring inspiration and insight to me and joy to You. In Your name I pray. Amen.
Read: John 15:1-11
Think about It: “. . . apart from me you can do nothing”
The discipline being emphasized this week is that of practicing the presence of God. In fact, most of the disciplines actually lead us in this very direction, so it is well that we focus on this early in the series. Each of the disciplines, in their own way wake us up the fact that God is ever present in our lives. If we don’t “feel” His presence or experience Him in real ways the fault is ours, not His.
With that thought in mind we focus on Jesus words to His disciples in the upper room just before He enters the Garden of Gethsemane. He speaks to them very directly about the need to abide in Him at all times. Keep the context in mind here. He is about to leave them very soon (in a matter of a couple of hours) and yet He tells them to “abide” in Him. It is certain the disciples were somewhat confused by these words and would become more so in the coming days (until Pentecost), but the admonishment of Jesus is clear – abide in Me. That word in the Greek means the same thing in English. There’s no special meaning or hidden code here. It simply means to remain with God, constantly seeking His face and remembering Him as often as is possible.
What are the triggers for your mind to take up thoughts of God? Is your day filled with things that might cause you to think of God and remember that He is constantly with you? Or is He a fleeting thought before you fall into slumber at night or maybe you only think about Him on Sunday morning when you are supposed to be in church? We can set ourselves up to think of Him more frequently but that probably won’t “just happen.” It will require some intentionality on your part. This week we will explore ways to trigger thoughts of God during your regular day. These are not earth shaking things nor do they require time or resources. They are simple trigger points. You might want to be thinking about your own life already and coming up with way to remind yourself to “abide.”
Pray: Dear Lord, I confess that often I let my mind drift away from You. Keeping You at the center of my life can be difficult for I am tossed about by the stuff of life. But I ask that You would increase in me an ever growing awareness of Your presence and help me to abide in you moment by moment. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.