Editor's note:

Alive. Vibrant. True. Acces­si­ble. Anoint­ed. These words come to mind when I read Andrew Mur­ray. There’s a rea­son his work has endured for generations

Here is the first day from his thir­ty-one day devo­tion­al, Abide in Christ. Pub­lished in 1895 and now in the pub­lic domain, you can find it free online in its entire­ty in text and audio­book formats.

—Brian Morykon

Come unto me.“ — Matthew 11:28
Abide in me.” —John 15:4

All You Who Have Come to Him

It is to you who have heard and hear­kened to the call, Come unto me,” that this new invi­ta­tion comes, Abide in me.” The mes­sage comes from the same lov­ing Sav­ior. You doubt­less have nev­er repent­ed hav­ing come at His call. You expe­ri­enced that His word was truth; all His promis­es He ful­filled; He made you par­tak­ers of the bless­ings and the joy of His love. Was not His wel­come most hearty, His par­don full and free, His love most sweet and pre­cious? You more than once, at your first com­ing to Him, had rea­son to say, The half was not told me.”

And yet you have had to com­plain of dis­ap­point­ment: as time went on, your expec­ta­tions were not real­ized. The bless­ings you once enjoyed were lost; the love and joy of your first meet­ing with your Sav­iour, instead of deep­en­ing, have become faint and fee­ble. And often you have won­dered what the rea­son could be, that with such a Sav­iour, so mighty and so lov­ing, your expe­ri­ence of sal­va­tion should not have been a fuller one.

The answer is very sim­ple. You wan­dered from Him. The bless­ings He bestows are all con­nect­ed with His Come to ME,” and are only to be enjoyed in close fel­low­ship with Him­self. You either did not ful­ly under­stand, or did not right­ly remem­ber, that the call meant, Come to me to stay with me.” And yet this was in very deed His object and pur­pose when first He called you to Him­self. It was not to refresh you for a few short hours after your con­ver­sion with the joy of His love and deliv­er­ance, and then to send you forth to wan­der in sad­ness and sin. He had des­tined you to some­thing bet­ter than a short-lived blessed­ness, to be enjoyed only in times of spe­cial earnest­ness and prayer, and then to pass away, as you had to return to those duties in which far the greater part of life has to be spent. No, indeed; He had pre­pared for you an abid­ing dwelling with Him­self, where your whole life and every moment of it might be spent, where the work of your dai­ly life might be done, and where all the while you might be enjoy­ing unbro­ken com­mu­nion with Him­self. It was even this He meant when to that first word, Come to me,” He added this, Abide in me.” As earnest and faith­ful, as lov­ing and ten­der, as the com­pas­sion that breathed in that blessed Come,” was the grace that added this no less blessed Abide.” As mighty as the attrac­tion with which that first word drew you, were the bonds with which this sec­ond, had you but lis­tened to it, would have kept you. And as great as were the bless­ings with which that com­ing was reward­ed, so large, yea, and much greater, were the trea­sures to which that abid­ing would have giv­en you access.

And observe espe­cial­ly, it was not that He said, Come to me and abide with me,” but, Abide in me.” The inter­course was not only to be unbro­ken, but most inti­mate and com­plete. He opened His arms, to press you to His bosom; He opened His heart, to wel­come you there; He opened up all His divine full­ness of life and love, and offered to take you up into its fel­low­ship, to make you whol­ly one with Him­self. There was a depth of mean­ing you can­not yet real­ize in His words: Abide in Me.”

And with no less earnest­ness than He had cried, Come to me,” did He plead, had you but noticed it, Abide in me.” By every motive that had induced you to come, did He beseech you to abide. Was it the fear of sin and its curse that first drew you? the par­don you received on first com­ing could, with all the bless­ings flow­ing from it, only be con­firmed and ful­ly enjoyed on abid­ing in Him. Was it the long­ing to know and enjoy the Infi­nite Love that was call­ing you? the first com­ing gave but sin­gle drops to taste — tis only the abid­ing that can real­ly sat­is­fy the thirsty soul, and give to drink of the rivers of plea­sure that are at His right hand. Was it the weary long­ing to be made free from the bondage of sin, to become pure and holy, and so to find rest, the rest of God for the soul? this too can only be real­ized as you abide in Him — only abid­ing in Jesus gives rest in Him. Or if it was the hope of an inher­i­tance in glo­ry, and an ever­last­ing home in the pres­ence of the Infi­nite One: the true prepa­ra­tion for this,as well as its blessed fore­taste in this life, are grant­ed only to those who abide in Him. In very truth, there is noth­ing that moved you to come, that does not plead with thou­sand­fold greater force: Abide in Him.” You did well to come; you do bet­ter to abide. Who would, after seek­ing the King’s palace, be con­tent to stand in the door, when he is invit­ed in to dwell in the King’s pres­ence, and share with Him in all the glo­ry of His roy­al life? Oh, let us enter in and abide, and enjoy to the full all the rich sup­ply His won­drous love hath pre­pared for us!

And yet I fear that there are many who have indeed come to Jesus, and who yet have mourn­ful­ly to con­fess that they know but lit­tle of this blessed abid­ing in Him. With some the rea­son is, that they nev­er ful­ly under­stood that this was the mean­ing of the Sav­iour’s call. With oth­ers, that though they heard the word, they did not know that such a life of abid­ing fel­low­ship was pos­si­ble, and indeed with­in their reach. Oth­ers will say that, though they did believe that such a life was pos­si­ble, and seek after it, they have nev­er yet suc­ceed­ed dis­cov­er­ing the secret of its attain­ment. And oth­ers, again, alas! will con­fess that it is their own unfaith­ful­ness that has kept them from the enjoy­ment of the bless­ing. When the Sav­iour would have kept them, they were not found ready to stay; they were not pre­pared to give up every­thing, and always, only, whol­ly to abide in Jesus.

To all such I come now in the name of Jesus, their Redeemer and mine, with the blessed mes­sage: Abide in me.” In His name I invite them to come, and for a sea­son med­i­tate with me dai­ly on its mean­ing, its lessons, its claims, and its promis­es. I know how many, and, to the young believ­er, how dif­fi­cult, the ques­tions are which sug­gest them­selves in con­nec­tion with it. There is espe­cial­ly the ques­tion, with its var­i­ous aspects, to the pos­si­bil­i­ty, in the midst of weary­ing work and con­tin­u­al dis­trac­tion, of keep­ing up, or rather being kept in, the abid­ing com­mu­nion. I do not under­take to remove all dif­fi­cul­ties; this Jesus Christ Him­self alone must do by His Holy Spir­it. But what I would fain by the grace of God be per­mit­ted to do is, to repeat day by day the Mas­ter’s blessed com­mand, Abide in me,” until it enter the heart and find a place there, no more to be for­got­ten or neglect­ed. I would fain that in the light of Holy Scrip­ture we should Med­i­tate on its mean­ing, until the under­stand­ing, that gate to the heart, opens to appre­hend some­thing of what it offers and expects. So we shall dis­cov­er the means of its attain­ment, and learn to know what keeps us from it, and what can help us to it. So we shall feel its claims, and be com­pelled to acknowl­edge that there can be no true alle­giance to our King with­out sim­ply and hearti­ly accept­ing this one, too, of His com­mands. So we shall gaze on its blessed­ness, until desire be inflamed, and the will with all its ener­gies be roused to claim and pos­sess the unspeak­able blessing.

Come, my brethren, and let us day by day set our­selves at His feet, and med­i­tate on this word of His, with an eye fixed on Him alone. Let us set our­selves in qui­et trust before Him, wait­ing to hear His holy voice — the still small voice that is might­i­er than the storm that rends the rocks — breath­ing its quick­en­ing spir­it with­in us, as He speaks: Abide in me.” The soul that tru­ly hears Jesus Him­self speak the word, receives with the word the pow­er to accept and to hold the bless­ing He offers.

And it may please Thee, blessed Sav­iour, indeed, to speak to us; let each of us hear Thy blessed voice. May the feel­ing of our deep need, and the faith of Thy won­drous love, com­bined with the sight of the won­der­ful­ly blessed life Thou art wait­ing to bestow upon us, con­strain us to lis­ten and to obey, as often as Thou speak­est: Abide in me.” Let day by day the answer from our heart be clear­er and fuller: Blessed Sav­iour, I do abide in Thee. ”

From Abide in Christ by Andrew Mur­ray. Pub­lic Domain. Both text and audio­book are avail­able free.

Pho­to by Maja Pet­ric on Unsplash

Originally published January 1895

Join the 2020-21 Renovaré Book Club

An inten­tion­al way to read for trans­for­ma­tion. Cur­rent­ly under­way and runs through May 2021.

Learn More >