“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
James Montgomery Boice wrote about a dinner he had with a fellow pastor. During the meal, the pastor relayed to Boice the story of a man who had challenged him deeply in his walk with Christ. Bishop James Ussher, an old man who was once a notable Bible chronologist, suffered from many diseases, and was crippled by an inflammation in his joints. His condition forced him to stay home, unable to participate in normal activities.
A visitor hoped to encourage Dr. Ussher, and didn’t know that he was the one who would be most encouraged. The experience that day gave him a life-changing perspective.
It seems that every day Dr. Ussher asked his nurse to seat him by the east window in the morning, where he could enjoy the warmth of the rising sun. At noon, his nurse moved him to a window with southern exposure, where the warm rays of the midday sun cheered and soothed him. As the afternoon wore on, he was moved again to a window facing westward, and he sat watching the sun slip below the horizon. As the pastor recalled to Boice during their meal, “Dr. Ussher spent his day literally abiding in the sun.”
What an incredible reminder to us! How closely do we follow the Son? Are you abiding in Him as He commanded? If you focus your energy on abiding in Christ, He will reproduce His character in you, over time. That is His promise to us. All those who choose to abide in Him, to literally walk with a constant acknowledgment of His presence, will eventually bear the same qualities that distinguish Him.
Think of it this way: You never sat down with your child and said, “Okay, I’m going to teach you to talk just like me, and speak your words with my accent and inflection.” Mom, you didn’t give your little girl lessons on how to hold her hands like you do; Dad, you didn’t give your son a lesson on how to walk like you do. They learned it over the years of abiding with you—you literally rubbed off on them.
And they are not the only ones who bear resemblances to their parents. Even now, things that you learned from your father and mother are manifested in a variety of situations. You can’t fight it . . . this is an inevitable result of spending time with someone, observing and imitating both the desired and undesired characteristics.
Resemblance is the result of relationship.
That’s why we must focus our eyes on Christ and give daily attention to our relationship with Him. He will teach us to talk like Him, walk like Him, view life like Him, and love like Him.
When you begin to abide in Christ, people will not see you only, but Christ in you. It will be His life, through you, responding to the daily environment and conditions that affect you.
Like Dr. Ussher, we are all crippled and in need of Sonlight. We need His warmth and soothing touch. So pull up your chair beside the window of God’s Word, gaze upon the glory of the Son, and reflect the warmth of His light . . . the true Sonlight.
Prayer Point: Ask the Lord to give your heart contentment in His presence; ask Him to cause you to long for His presence in your daily activities; take time to talk to Him throughout the most mundane activities you perform today.