Abide in Christ - Tea Drinking Can Teach Us How

  01.06.2011    Christian Living | Abiding
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tea bag abiding in hot water

Few people realize that God has placed all around us life lessons that can show us how to walk and live in close communion with Him. Just open your heart to truth and your mind to learning, you will start noticing such lessons manifest themselves in some of the most ordinary and common events that fill our daily lives. Did you know that by observing tea drinkers you can learn how to abide in Jesus Christ? Come and see how.

For the most part, there are two types of tea drinkers in the world. You have the "dipper “and the "abider." Both of them enjoy their tea but, each of them has a drastically different approach on how to make their tea. Tea lovers know that the process one undertakes in order to make tea will not only affect the strength, taste, and the quality of the tea but, it will also affect the tea drinking experience.

Let us first consider the largest group of tea drinkers, the dippers. A dipper begins making their tea by quickly dipping their tea bag in and out of a hot cup of water many times in a few seconds. They do so with the intent of shortening the amount of time it takes to get their tea ready to drink.

Next you have the abider. They do not exert their strength in the process of dipping the tea bag in and out of the water. No, the abider simply drops the tea bag into the cup, leaves it alone, and goes about living their lives as they wait for their reward - a strong hot cup of tea.

Both the dipper and the abider will benefit from the hot water surrounding their tea bag. However, when you are a dipper you got to make things happen by your own strength. You have to exert your own energy moving that bag in and out of the water. Eventually, the dipper grows restless and gives up on the dipping motions.

An abider does not trust in their own strength but, on the strength of the hot water to influence the tea. As the act of abiding continues, the transformation process begins. A cup that was once filled with a clear and tasteless water becomes a delightfully cup of tea.

Unfortunately, most of today's Christians do not live as abiders but rather, as dippers. If you look closely, you will see our churches filled with dippers. They dip themselves into the waters of a Christian lifestyle and when it gets a bit too hot for their taste, they dip back out until their next dip into Christianity. They dip in for a couple of hours on Sunday morning and then they dip back out until the next worship service.

Once I asked a dipper friend of mine why he always dipped his tea bags in and out of his cup and then throws away his bad after just a few dips in the hot water. He said, "I don't like wasting my time waiting for my tea. Besides, if I allow my tea bag to simply rest unattended in the hot water, it would result in my tea becoming too strong for my taste."

To which I replied, "That's a shame. Unless you allow the hot water to do its job, you will never enjoy the full flavor of the tea nor will you ever realize that tea's full potential" The same holds true for the Christian life.

If someone claims to be a disciple of Jesus and yet does not obey his teachings nor abide in him, then their life will never reach its full potential. As a matter of fact, such a life will not bear fruit. Don't believe me? Then listen to the words of Jesus;

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 “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." ( John 15:4-6 NASB)

Now if those words did not get your attention read on.

“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned." (John 15:6 NASB)

Did you get it? Jesus said that if we fail to abide in him, our faith will dry up and once that happens we'll be gathered and cast into a fire to be burned. Bottom line - our profession of faith in God is meaningless without abiding in Christ Jesus.

Now, there is nothing wrong with having your tea on the weak side if that is what you like it. However, that is not the way God wants us to live our life! God wants our life to be like a bold cup of tea. He wants us to abide in the teachings of Christ Jesus every minute. As we do, Jesus will begin to influence us as hot water influences the tea bag. This will begin our process of transformation into God's cup of tea.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. 9 “Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; abide in my love. (John 15:7-9 NASB)

As we are transformed by the act of abiding, Jesus tells us that a few things will occur. First, is that we will be able to ask whatever we wish and it will be "done" for us. Notice that it does not say "given" but "given." Remember that. It's a big difference. Secondly, we will bring glory to God as we bear much fruit. Lastly, we will not simply be giving lip service to Jesus as we claim to be his devote pupils but, we will "prove" ourselves to all of creation that we are the disciples of Jesus.

One thing still remains to be known. How does Jesus define what it means to "abide" in him? To get an answer to that question all we need do is to read the next verse.

“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (John 15:10, 11 NASB)

Do you see the answer? Here it is, "If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love..." All we must do to abide in Christ is to obey the God's commandments. It is just that simple. If you are not sure what commandments to keep then refresh your memory by reading Exodus 20 and Galatians 5:19-26.

If you have any desire in becoming God's cup of tea then make every effort to abide in Jesus by obeying God's commands at all times. Do this and not only will you gain your full strength from His presence but, your joy will "be made full".

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