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Living in Communication

• Greg Boyd

Jesus calls us to abide in him, and we will bear much fruit. Jesus wants us to be always present with him just as God is omnipresent. However, this requires us to allow God into our lives. In this sermon, Greg shows us how to be fully present with Jesus in every moment.

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The past few weeks, we’ve talked about intercessory prayers and set apart prayers where we regularly commune with God. However, there are other types of prayers that we need to talk about. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul talks about praying unceasingly. How, though, do we continually speak with God at all times?

Omnipresence means “all” and “present”. When we use it to describe God, it means that God is everywhere. This can be misunderstood as God exists everywhere and in everything (Pantheism). Omnipresence does mean, however, that God has a sustaining presence that sustains all of creation. But Scripture also speaks to God not being in all places equally.

God’s holy presence only shows up as much as people allow it to. Some people may not choose to allow God into their life. Also, sin is pushing God away. It naturally removes God from our lives and replaces it with something else. God’s holy presence will show up to the extent that we allow it to.

In the Old Testament, we see God showing up in specific places. When the Israelites were in the desert, God was in the tabernacle. When Israel was a nation, God dwelt within the temple built by Solomon. In the New Testament, John writes that God tabernacled in the flesh through Jesus. The author was specifically saying that Jesus came into this world as God being present. And we join with God by being in Christ.

We get put into the holy presence of God when we join with Christ. It’s not at some point down the road; rather, it is here and now.

This has everything to do with our prayer life. There is no difference between the secular and the sacred in our lives. At all times, our prayers are in the presence of God. We don’t have to go to some special place to offer our prayers like the Israelites did. Rather, we can at any time speak with God and have him listen. This allows us to speak continuously with God, and to pray unceasingly.

Jesus tells us to abide in him, and we will bear much fruit. The word abide is meno in the Greek. It means to remain and stay; it’s the opposite of visiting. Whether we join the Mennonites or not in the future, we should all aspire to be meno-ites. We should all seek to abide, remain and surrender to Jesus in every moment of every day.

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Topics: Discipleship, Prayer, Presence of God


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Focus Scripture:

  • John 15:4

    Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.

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2 thoughts on “Living in Communication

    Holly says: Tuesday September 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    In response to the “bragging on God” component of this sermon, I think that if we all prayed for God to give us lessons through daily life experiences that would teach us to release attachments that are not in line with His will for us, we’d get LOTS more opportunities to BRAG ON GOD! A great way to pray/communicate/commune with God is found in Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.

    Reply
    Ted says: Tuesday September 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Thank you WH and Greg for helping me with this talk about how God’s holy relationship presence is all around me and in me. I really like the pun about menno (abide/remain/stick with) and Mennonites! Also how Greg brings a depth of theology and makes it practical and accessible to us. Maybe Greg should forget his ADD meds more often? 🙂 Just kidding — with or without meds, Greg’s talks and life really help me.

    I want to stay with you, Jesus!

    Ted
    Member of The Meeting House – Canada

    Reply

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