Come to Me (Matthew 11:28). Abide in Me (John 15:4).

The invitation to “come” to Christ connects with His directive to “abide” in Him.

“Come to Me”

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). This is His invitation for every person to believe on Him and accept Him as Lord and Savior. The “soul rest” He promises refers to His peace now and spending eternity with Him in the glorious bliss of His presence in heaven.

Responding to this invitation is an act of faith. It is a one-time occurrence often referred to as salvation or regeneration. Jesus indicated this is a spiritual rebirth “from above” (John 3:3) by which we are made “partakers of His divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Paul refers to this as a “new creation” by which “old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“Abide in Me”

Jesus also said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).

The word translated abide is the Greek word meno. It means to stay in a given place, state, relation, or expectancy. We find additional meaning from words such as continue, dwell, endure, be present, and remain.

Responding to this invitation is an act of the will. It is a lifelong commitment of not merely coming to Christ but also staying in close fellowship with Him. Fellowship involves constant communication, living in His presence, and conducting life in the power of His Spirit. It is a life dedicated to holiness—one that makes God smile and brings His favor. It is growing in deeper intimacy with Him each day.

Both Invitations are Interconnected

But here’s the challenge. Many people readily accept His first invitation but few commit to abiding in Him. And yet God’s purpose of inviting us to Himself isn’t for a short visit or strictly to keep us from going to hell for eternity. It was to restore the image in which He made us (that was distorted by sin) and transform us into His likeness (Romans 8:29).

If you haven’t accepted His first invitation (“come to Me”), that’s the first step. True fulfillment, peace, and joy in this life and all eternity hang in the balance. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior while you still can. He awaits you with arms outstretched in loving welcome (John 6:37).

If you have come to Him, then commit to staying in Him, beside Him, constantly in His presence. Live in His “Abide in Me.” Become more intimately acquainted with Him. Surrender to His transformation. Stay focused on Him (Hebrews 12:2). Foster the relationship into one of closeness, connection, and unbroken, undistracted communication.

Abiding leads to Christlikeness

As He gathers you into His loving embrace, lean into it, drawing ever closer. Revel in the journey of becoming more like Him each day (Romans 8:29). Live every moment as preparation for spending eternity in His loving, glorious presence. Pursue His holiness (Hebrews 12:14) and live in the power of the Holy Spirit, not your own strength. Learn to live like Him, love like Him, pray like Him.

Abiding in Him unleashes the transformation into His likeness and the power of answered prayer (John 15:7). Desperately depend on Him, His leading, His insight in every interaction of life. Rest in Him. Wait on Him. Allow Him to perform what He has begun to do in you (Philippians 1:6). Walk beside Him as Enoch did so when you meet Him one day, it will be like meeting a dear, lifelong friend.

Oh, may we all come to Him and abide in Him.

Concepts taken from Nate’s new book, Called to Christlikeness, not Christianity.

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