Welcome to the PTM blog! We are excited about this new form of communication, and hope it will not only whet your appetite for our conference in October, but also be a resource to you throughout the year.
In light of this year’s theme, Abide: Present in His Presence, some of us have been reading the book Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray*. Although it was written over 100 years ago, this month-long devotional, with daily reflections on Christ as the vine and believers as the branches, stirs the heart and the mind.
Enjoy this excerpt from Day 5—“As You Came to Him, by Faith”
And if you ask what exactly it is that you now have to believe that you may abide in Him, the answer is not difficult. Believe first of all what He says: "I am the Vine." The safety and the fruitfulness of the branch depend upon the strength of the vine. Think not so much of yourself as a branch, nor of the abiding as your duty, until you have first had your soul filled with the faith of what Christ as the Vine is.
He really will be to you all that a vine can be holding you fast, nourishing you, and making Himself every moment responsible for your growth and your fruit. Take time to know, set yourself heartily to believe: My Vine, on whom I can depend for all I need, is Christ. A large, strong vine bears the feeble branch, and holds it more than the branch holds the vine.
Ask the Father by the Holy Ghost to reveal to you what a glorious, loving, mighty Christ this is, in whom you have your place and your life; it is the faith in what Christ is, more than anything else, that will keep you abiding in Him. A soul filled with large thoughts of the Vine will be a strong branch, and will abide confidently in Him. Be much occupied with Jesus, and believe much in Him, as the True Vine.
And then, when Faith can well say, "He is my Vine," let it further say, "I am His branch, I am in Him." I speak to those who say they are Christ's disciples, and on them I cannot too earnestly press the importance of exercising their faith in saying, "I am in Him." It makes the abiding so simple. If I realize clearly as I meditate: Now I am in Him, I see at once that there is nothing wanting but just my consent to be what He has made me, to remain where He has placed me.
*Andrew Murray was a South African minister and writer who lived from 1828 to 1917. He authored over 50 books, many of which are still published and read today. Abide in Christ is available for purchase or for free in various formats on the internet.