“As I have mentioned before,” Stan began, “I was slow in coming to accept what God had for me for life eternally with Him when it is time, as well as being slow in pursuing what He has for me on this side of eternity.”
“You have,” I responded. “I think you called yourself a ‘tough nut to crack’ or something like that.”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “It took me years to accept God’s salvation. Years to begin walking with God, but the important part is that there was a beginning.”
Continuing, he said, “I was reminded of that this morning when I was reading in the apostle John’s first letter where he wrote that I am to abide in what I heard from the beginning.”
“The beginning of what?” I asked.
“While I think John was writing about what the readers had been told all along, the beginning that began for me was at my conversion,” Stan replied.
Continuing, he said, “The beginning is different for every person in terms of when it happens, but the key is that it happen on this side of eternity. Once the time here is done, it’s too late. Time’s up. Game over. Missed the train to glory!”
“Okay,” I responded, “say a person begins. What happens then?”
“In the verse I was focusing on,” Stan replied, “the apostle John says ‘abide’ in what I heard, and to allow what I heard to ‘abide’ in me.”
“Abide,” I said. “What does that means?”
“For me,” Stan replied, “it means choosing to make the truth of the gospel an absolutely integral part of every aspect of my being. Like being one and the same. Christ in me, me in Him. Inseparable. One with Him.”
“For me, it began at the beginning, whenever that was,” Stan concluded, “and it is to continue for as long as God chooses to leave me on this side of eternity. I am to continue to abide in Him as long as I have a breath to take here. And that happens only when I choose to give all of me, all of the time, to the indwelling Holy Spirit.”
As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 1 John 2:24.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when it is time. Thank you, too, for your provision of life with you on this side of eternity. I was very slow in accepting all of your provision, but I am eternally grateful that I finally began to walk with you, that there was finally a beginning! Thank you for all that walking with you means in terms of being one with you. I confess that too often I choose not to be one with you because I choose to go my own way apart from you. Please forgive me. And please help me in following your lead to abide in you in every aspect of my being. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.