I wanted to encourage all of us to be abiding in Christ consistently and with depth. John 15:4 says:
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
This is not just about reading our Bibles, although that is critical to our spiritual health. Part of our abiding in Christ is dwelling on the gospel—the good news of who Jesus is and what he has done. Dwelling means rehearsing it in our minds, turning it over, thinking deeply, being preoccupied and obsessed with it. (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified—1 Cor. 2:2)
Gospel dwelling is crucial for a Christian woman; It instills in us a confidence that Jesus loves us. This reduces idolatrous tendencies. It frees us up from overly looking to husbands and boyfriends, food, or anything else to meet our deepest needs. Gospel dwelling teaches us how to think sacrificially and humbly like Christ; it transforms our selfish hearts so that we can better serve those around us. Gospel dwelling gets our eyes off ourselves; it reduces the pity-parties and obsessive self-examination. Gospel dwelling transforms the way we think about unbelievers; it teaches us to think about them and approach them the way Jesus did. Gospel dwelling reminds us continually of what God the Father did for us in the cross work of Christ; it revives our hearts to love God back, engenders gratefulness, and teaches us to forgive others.
When we do not abide in Christ with depth and consistency we become anemic. Without the consistency of being watered, our fruit stays small, immature, and shriveled. Depth requires time, tenacity, and sacrifice.
One very important point to remember: Abiding in Christ is a grace from the Holy Spirit. We cannot gin it up. We pray for the grace to abide and to dwell on our Savior.
J.I. Packer has said: “Dig deep and dwell deep.” That is my prayer and my desire from the Lord for all of us.