Anonymous, Stonepoint Member
Our Journey Group is diving into the four core values as our group study for the next few weeks. We’ve been assigned to pick up a concordance (or to make use of a nifty Bible app of our choice) and dive into the Word, exploring verses pertaining to each core value.
Don’t remember what the Journey Group core values are? Here they are, just as a refresher:
- Abide Daily
- Devote Relationally
- Live Authentically
- Admonish Biblically
Now, I don’t wish to delve into each core value specifically in this post. But what I would like to hone in on is Core Value #1: Abiding Daily.
If I am honest, before these past few months I’d probably be brushing the dust off the cover of my Bible if I didn’t keep a protective case around it and lug it around to all the spiritual functions I attend. But as I’ve paused to crack open the Word and wade into the pages and ideas inside, I’m remembering how beautiful it is to soak in more than one verse a day. This emptiness deep inside is losing itself to the filling of God’s peace in the words He is speaking to me.
First, I combed through my dictionary to find the word “Abide.” The definition is simple: “to remain, to dwell.” Remain ultimately means staying faithful to something, while dwell means being in the presence in or around someone or something.
Next, flipping through the highly-condensed concordance in the back of my Bible, I found the word “Abide” and searched out each Scripture verse that was listed below.
(What is a concordance, you may ask? If you Google the word “God,” it will pull up every instance of the word “God” found on the internet. In the same way, if you look up the word “God” in a Bible concordance, it will show you every instance the word “God” is found in the Bible.)
In my small concordance, the first verse that appeared under the world “Abide” was Luke 2:8. It says, “That night there were shepherds staying [abiding] in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.” This verse never stood out to me before as it did when I read it during this study.
These shepherds were staying up all night to sit and watch their sheep. In Psalm 23:1, it speaks about God being our shepherd: “The LORD is my shepherd, I have all that I need.” In the New Testament, Jesus calls Himself God by placing Himself in the position of Shepherd. “I am the Good Shepherd,” Jesus says. “I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father” (John 10:14-15a).
As I watched the picture before me of the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night, God captivated me by this thought: Jesus watches over me even as I sleep. As a shepherd does, Jesus is always with me, watching over me, guiding me.
This is what God revealed to me through this verse. Before I even take the time to abide with God, before I am ever faithful to Him or before I make room in my life to be in His presence, Jesus is already abiding with me, waiting for me to spend time with Him.
This changes how I approach God. I actually want to meet with Jesus, because He is so excited to just have a conversation with me. To show me one more amazing facet of His character in His Word. To blow me away with His goodness and peace and sheer awesomeness. To listen to my heart as I pray and to answer in specific ways for His glory and my good.
“God is most glorified when I am most satisfied in Him.” I think that is what God wants to bring to us as we spend time with Him: peace and satisfaction. That is what my ever-longing heart craves. And He is the only thing that will truly fill the deep, heart-breaking emptiness inside me.
I hope you find His joy and satisfaction, too, as you open God’s Word and spend time with Him.