Friday, October 30
Forty Days of Proclamation: ABIDE
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 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. John 15: 9-10
Abide is my word for 2020. These are some of the ways God used Abide to build my faith, narrow my focus, and bolster my faith.
The word Abide first brought to mind the hymn, “Abide with Me”. Following are some of the lyrics. Aren’t they amazingly applicable to 2020?
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide
When other helpers fail and comforts flee
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless.
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting?
Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me…
These lyrics stirred my heart. I dug deeper. I looked at definitions of abide. I looked at ways to apply those definitions of abide in the natural.
Definition 1: to remain stable or fixed in a state—I have been in the field of education for 40 years. Teaching changed markedly with COVID. Do I abide in this calling? Or do I walk away at this point in my life? Can I still add value into the lives of my students? God said, “Yes.” Though I lost many of my students that I taught or tutored in person once COVID hit, I still teach a few students core classes via Zoom. I chose to abide in my calling as a teacher.
Definition 2: to continue in a place; sojourn—Right now I abide in Powder Springs, Georgia. Next month, we will have lived here 6 years. I love this home and yard that God has graciously provided. Before this, we lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Though we no longer abide there, we still owned the home; it would not sell. One of my impossible prayers in January was to sell that house. God answered that prayer at the outset of a pandemic just to make sure we knew He had orchestrated it all. Praise God!
I realized during the Made for This study that I have lived in 36 different dwellings in my lifetime. Maybe it’s time to find a place to abide permanently. In 2020, my hubby and I agreed that this would be that place.
Definition 3: to accept without objection; to acquiesce—2020 has shown me clearly that our actions and reactions come with choices. With God’s grace I chose to abide the circumstances of 2020 without complaint. The more I abide in His Word and in His love the easier it becomes to abide things that are undesirable, disheartening, or just unfair.
I studied verses with abide in them; I dissected their meanings and consulted commentaries. For Further Reading has a few of the gems I discovered in my studies. I pray that their truths will build your faith as you apply them to your lives and abide in Him.
My 2020 takeaways are these.
1. Choose to ABIDE in love.
2. Choose to ABIDE where you live with integrity.
“And the effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Isaiah 32:17-18
3. Choose to ABIDE with faith regardless of the circumstances.
For Further Reading: Psalm 91:1; John 6:56; John 8:31; John 15:4-7; I John 2:17, 24, 27-28
Closing Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your promise to abide in me as I abide in Your love. I am so thankful I never have to face any circumstance without Your steadfast presence—that the abiding is mutual. It is humbling to realize I can abide in Your shadow and constant care. I acknowledge that I will only abide here on Earth temporarily and it is Heaven where I will abide with you eternally. Please let Your fruit in my life be evident to those whose lives You touch through me as I continue to abide in the Vine. Let all that is said and done be to Your glory. Amen