Text: Luke 24:13-29
“But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.”
If there is any hymn that is most commonly sung at funeral services is “Abide with me”, which was written by Rev. Henry Francis Lyte, towards the end of his life on earth. Though tagged, a funeral hymn, it‘s rich texts do not restrict it to such.
The title for the hymn was taken from Luke 24:29. Two disciples were on their way to Emmaus, fearful, confused, discouraged, as they discussed about the recent event of Jesus’ death. They had lost faith in who He was and in His word. They had lost hope in His ability. They were no longer looking at what He said, the truth of the word, but their circumstances. Jesus had deep conversations with them and expounded the scriptures to them for about 2 hours in the 7 miles journey. Now, it was about evening and as they were about to enter the town, Jesus acted as if He was going further. Even though they had not identified Him by then but because they had richly been spiritually enlightened, comforted and strengthened by His words, they constrained Him, that is, pressed on Him, urged Him strongly, earnestly begged Him, pleaded with Him, that He should abide with them and He did (Jer 29:13). To abide in this context, means, “to continue without fading or being lost.” Thus, these lyric lines catch the message: “When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me.” And “Change and decay in all around I see. O thou who changest not, abide with me.”
If you have tasted His love and enjoyed His grace, you won’t ever want to lose His presence for a moment. If you have experienced the warmth of His embrace, you won’t ever want to be elsewhere. No wonder David said, “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psa 34:6). The disciples tasted His love, even without knowing, and begged Him to abide with them. How much more should we who know Him and are assured of Him, hold tightly to Him! How much or how often do you demonstrate your need for Him by beseeching Him to abide with you? This is what Moses did when He resolved not to proceed in the journey if the Lord will not go with Him (Exo 33:15).
Friends, let your prayer be, not only that He may abide with you in the evening of your life but “I need thy presence every passing hour”, should be your chief desire and utmost pleasure.
1. O Changeless One, let me never lose my grips on You, in the midst of the changes, decay and decadence in our times in Jesus name.
2. Father, let Your abiding presence drive away every fear, confusion and discouragement from me in Jesus name.
1. My chief desire and utmost pleasure is that I will enjoy His abiding presence throughout my life’s journey.
2. As I search for God with all my heart, I find Him; as I make Him the chief object of my desire and pleasure, He abides with me.