Slowing Down: How to Depend on God

By Excerpted from a message by Billy Graham   •   June 13, 2008

Spiritual peace begins when you surrender your life to Christ. He longs to take your cares and concerns and fill you with His peace. Just give your mistakes, your burdens, and your busyness over to Him in prayer.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NKJV).

Why die of thirst when you stand on the brink of a lake? Why starve to death when you are within arm’s reach of the living bread?

Why live in a hovel of spiritual misery when Christ has provided a mansion of divine peace? Hear and accept the divine invitation today: “Come to Me, and rest!”

FOLLOW CHRIST
But rest is not all that weary people need. Other invitations to happiness await the distressed who will dare to follow Christ: A second invitation is to discipleship.

“I am interested,” you say, “but how may I be a disciple of Christ?” The answer must come from God’s Word itself. “If anyone desires to come after Me,” said Jesus, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

Before you can follow Jesus in discipleship, the selfish, sinful “self” must be crucified, so that Christ is preeminent in your heart and life.

A disciple means “a student.”

Jesus also said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (John 8:31). A disciple means “a learner, a student, a follower.”

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men'” (Mark 1:17)

A true disciple of Christ also will bear the fruit of the Spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galations 5:22-23).

As we daily yield our wills to God’s Holy Spirit, He produces this supernatural fruit in our lives. We will literally radiate Christ.

Spend time with God through reading the Bible.

Jesus calls us to be partners in His work. Spend time with God through reading the Bible and praying. Follow Christ’s example, obey His commands, and invite others to follow Him.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

ABIDE IN CHRIST
Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you” (John 15:4). Personal salvation is not an occasional rendezvous with Deity; it is an actual dwelling with God. … Those who “abide in Him” are the objects of God’s affection and love.

No greater demonstration of love has ever been witnessed by the world than God’s love manifested in His Son, Jesus Christ … summed up in those divinely significant words, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Do not let fears or worry paralyze you …

You belong to Christ, and you are in His care. Do not let fears or worry paralyze you in following Him. Be in constant prayer, always yielding your thoughts, motives, and needs to the Lord. Trust His plans for you, and surrender your own plans to Him.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:1-2).

Do you want to know rest, joy, peace, security, affection? Do you want to know what it means to belong?

Surrender and commit your life and your heart to Jesus Christ.

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