Fully Assured

I’ve come across a word recently that is helping revitalize my walk with Christ. The word is “Abide.”
John 15:5 says, “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.”
Abiding in Christ means being in continual connection with Christ and knowing that we’re dependent upon Christ for any spiritual growth in our lives.
 
The question is how do we “abide in Christ?” The answer is in practicing the spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditating on scripture, and simply being aware of God’s presence throughout the day. One of my daily spiritual disciplines is to sit in silence for 20 minutes to be with the Lord. This is tough because my mind often races and there are plenty of times that sitting in silence feels more like work than being in the presence of God; I guess that’s one of the reasons they call it a discipline. But if we’re faithful in our spiritual disciplines, I believe God rewards our efforts, if not in the moment, then throughout the day.
 
For example, one morning in late October I read from the book of Colossians and then sat in silence for 20 minutes. I meditated on Colossians 4:12 where Paul encourages us to, “Stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” The words, “fully assured,” jumped off the page and I began to think about and pray for a faith that would be “fully assured.” My point is that during my time of prayer, and in trying to be faithful in my spiritual disciplines, the Lord gave me those words. When the Lord gives you something there is a good chance He not only wants to bless you but He wants to bless others as well.
 
That day I went to see Thom Kagels in the hospital. He had gallbladder surgery and he ran into some complications, specifically there was an infectious abscess in his body that was causing him great pain and the abscess was in a tricky spot. It was near the liver and the doctors weren’t 100% sure how they were going to remove it safely, but Thom desperately needed relief. He said it was the worst pain of his life. So I visited the day before his surgery and prayed for him.
 
During the prayer I got a real sense, a conviction really, that I was supposed to tell Thom about those two words, “Fully Assured.” So I said, “Thom, the Holy Spirit spoke to me during the prayer and wanted me to make sure you take two words with you tomorrow into your surgery. The two words are “Fully Assured” and I believe God wants you to know that all will be well with your surgery and you can be fully assured that the Lord is with you.”
 
Thom took that word to heart and before his surgery he wrote the words “fully assured” on his hands. As they were taking him into surgery a nurse noticed the words and said, “You must be a person of faith. I’m a person of faith. I want you to know I’ll be praying for you during the operation.”
Fully Assured
 
Before they began the surgery they did an ultrasound to locate the abscess and guess what? The abscess had shrunk by 50%! It was so small there was no way to do surgery. The doctor was amazed and they decided to continue to treat it with antibiotics.
 
Cool story right? But there’s more. Brenda and Thom were so overjoyed by what the Lord had done that they started telling folks about being “fully assured.” One of the people they told was their cousin in North Carolina. Her cousin went to her Bible to find it and she ended up reading the whole book of Colossians. She was grateful for the story because she said, “I need to read my Bible more.”
Brenda and Thom Kagels
 
Finally, I went for a Chiropractor appointment and someone was leaving the office as I was coming in. This person said to me, “I heard about the “Fully Assured” story. You should tell it to the Chiropractor.” So I got to tell the story to the Chiropractor and his administrative assistant. This seems to be how the Lord works.
 
When we abide in Christ, blessings flow into our lives and into the lives of others. I had no idea when I read scripture that morning that the Lord would multiply the blessing that was given to me. I continue to learn and be amazed by the fact that God is a multiplier of blessings. So let me encourage you: Take the time and abide in Christ.
Billy Graham once said, “Every day has exactly 1,440 minutes; can’t you find even ten of them to be with your heavenly Father? Doesn’t God deserve the best minutes of your day?” Let’s give Christ the best of our day and abide in him, read scripture, pray, sit in silence and trust that God is at work, then watch. Watch the blessings that flow through your life and into the lives of others. May God bless Thom and Brenda Kagels. May God bless Bethel Church and may we each stand firm in the faith, mature and fully assured. Amen.

^