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We are in the midst of a series called “Breathe” where we are taking time to do what God did and does.  In Exodus in 31:17b it says that God rested and was refreshed.  That word “refreshed” means to breathe.

When Jesus fulfilled the law and said on the cross, “It is finished” He gave us all kinds of space to breathe.  But we don’t take advantage of that.  We still run around like everything depends on us.

Romans 8:2 says, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could  not do in that it was weak in the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. . .”  Even in the midst of His work here on the earth Jesus modeled this posture of rest.  In Mark 6:31 He tells His disciples, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

C.T. Studd, a famous British missionary to China, said, “Only one life ’twill soon be past.  Only what’s done for Christ will last”.  I submit to you, “Only what is done in Christ will last.”  When we abide we produce lasting fruit.  Branches (followers of Jesus) that don’t abide in Christ, don’t produce lasting fruit.

Life starts when the spirit of God enters us and it ends when the spirit of God leaves.  In Luke 23:46 we Jesus said, “Into Your hands I commit My spirit.”  And then He breathed His last and died.

What do we breathe in?  What is the main thing we need?  Oxygen.  When we breathe out we breath out carbon dioxide.  So if we breath all over people we are imparting carbon dioxide, which actually brings death to a human.

Now let’s look at the trees.  What do they breathe in?  Carbon dioxide.  What do they breathe out?  Oxygen.

Which one is more life giving to humans?  The trees.  And are they running around all day like us?  What do the trees do?

They do what Jesus told us to do in John 15.  Jesus told us to abide.  That can mean sitting still.  It also means we move. . .but only when Jesus moves.  “In Him we live and move and have our being.”

Abiding has been a decades long learning process for me.  This week say, “Lord, make me like these trees.”  Take some things off your plate and rest in Jesus.

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Bob Swank

About 15 years ago our heavenly Father began encouraging me in my role as His son and out of that in my role as a father, both biologically and spiritually. Through multiple encounters on my journey God has revealed His heart as my Father and affirmed my sonship in Him. Out of this has come His call to fully embrace who He has created me to be as a father and to share that with others.

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