Thursday, May 13, 2010

Abounding and Abiding

I’m in Clemson, South Carolina where I am spending a day of rest, reflection, shopping for all things orange and perhaps getting in a little golf before picking up Kim and Jamie this evening in Atlanta (and heading - along with Jennifer - to Auburn for Kelli’s graduation - War Eagle).

After a busy weeks of abounding it’s a good day to stop and abide.

When I was at Menlo Park we used to talk about the tension between abounding and abiding.  1 Corinthians 15:58 tells us to devote ourselves to God’s work:

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast and immovable; always abounding fully in the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

We are commanded to abound.

Abounding in God’s work is important – and for many of us driven work-focused people this is an easy command to obey.

But though we are called to abound, Jesus also challenged us to abide. In John 15:4, He said:

Abide in Me and I will abide in you. No branch can fruit by itself; it must abide. Neither can you bear fruit by yourself. You must abide.

We are commanded to abide.

Abiding doesn’t come nearly as easy to many of us driven work-focused people this is difficult command to obey.

We convince ourselves that abiding is lazy even decadent – we’d rather abound.

But if we want to abound we have to learn to abide – to stop and rest and rather than “do” simply “be.”

Here’s are some ways that help me (when I let them) find balance between abounding and abiding:

1. Focus on what matters most.
2. Be fully present to God’s call in the moment.
3. Build in rhythm of abiding and abounding..
4. Plan for things that are life-giving and joy-producing.
5. Seek to abound where God has gifted and placed you.

We spend lots and lots of time abounding - what would it look like for you to spend time today abiding? 

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